Following a deal reached between the European Union and Turkey in March 2016, Turkey has been taking measures to prevent migrants – many of them fleeing the conflict in Syria – from reaching the EU, in exchange for European aid for migrants and refugees, and for relaxation of EU visa requirements for Turkish citizens. On Friday 28 February, after military losses in north-west Syria – where Turkey has been trying to create a safe area to resettle millions of Syrian refugees and to serve Turkish interests against the Kurds – those measures were suspended, resulting in large numbers of people attempting to cross into Greece and consequent clashes with Greek security forces.
On 6 March, Christian women from 170 countries will observe a World Day of Prayer, drawing millions of people together for a healing message in a divisive world. The 2019 theme is “Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk,” based on John 5:2-9a, and has been crafted by the World Day of Prayer Zimbabwe Committee. Each year, materials are developed ecumenically and collectively within a certain country in coordination with the World Day of Prayer International Committee.
At an event held in Rome on International Women’s Day, 3 March, women gathered for an event, “Women Makers of Human Fraternity,” to express social friendship and mutual respect. The gathering for women of faith, organised by the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, received the document of two religious leaders, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb and His Holiness Pope Francis, signed in Abu Dhabi on 4 February 2019: “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.”
Fr Prof. Ioan Sauca has been appointed acting World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary beginning 1 April. Sauca, who currently serves as deputy general secretary for the WCC programme on Ecumenical Formation and Bossey Ecumenical Institute, will hold the general secretary post until the WCC Executive Committee meets in June.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has clarified that its Geneva headquarters are not at the centre of a recent occurrence of COVID-19 (coronavirus), after a Swiss television report misidentified the WCC offices in a graphic about a case of the virus in a nearby institution.
In light of concerns about and implications of the current international spread of COVID 19, the coronavirus, the leadership of the World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee has decided to postpone the upcoming full WCC central committee meeting, currently slated for 18-24 March, along with the executive committee meeting that was to precede it.
Brought together by the South Sudan Council of Churches, women and men are sharing the pain of many years of war and associated gender-based violence in a series of workshops in Kenya and Burundi.