It was a day of “looking forward” when church leaders, journalists and communications experts gathered outside Beirut on 11 September for the one-day communications workshop at the General Secretariat of the Catholic Schools in Lebanon.
An ecumenical delegation organized by the WCC was received by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government, on 28 September 2015 in Erbil. The ecumenical delegation had spent six days visiting the Kurdistan Region of Iraq – including the Duhok area, part of the Nineveh Plain, and Erbil – and represented the WCC at the 27 September enthronement of the new Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Gewargis III, in Erbil.
“It is our sincere desire and prayer, shared with many Jews and Muslims, that there should be no hostilities among neighbours in Israel and Palestine, and beyond, in the whole Middle East region.” These were the words of the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, shared in his message for the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel.
The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) was launched by the WCC in 2007 to catalyze and co-ordinate new and existing church advocacy for peace, aimed at ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories in accordance with UN resolutions, and demonstrate its commitment to inter-religious action for peace and to justice that serves all peoples of the region.
PIEF acts to
- challenge government support for the occupation
- challenge public support for the occupation
- challenge theological and biblical justifications for the occupation and
- maintain viable the Palestinian Christian presence in the Holy Land.