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Norwegian church leader calls for prevention of violence

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches in August 2009, and took up his new post in January 2010. At the time of his election, Tveit was the general secretary of the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations (2002-09).

Different faiths around the globe need to do more to promote human solidarity, said Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), in the aftermath of the bomb attack and mass killings in his native Norway. 



$7.8 million now committed to East Africa drought

Canadian Foodgrains Bank partners with 15 church agencies, among them Mennonite Central Committee. --Photo by Christian Reformed World Relief Committee Canada

Two new projects supported by Canadian Foodgrains Bank member agencies, Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCC) and Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), have been added to the Foodgrains Bank response to the food crisis in East Africa.

MCC asks $1 million for East Africa relief

Drought has plunged East Africa into the worst food security crisis Africa has faced in 20 years. More than 11.5 million people are currently in need of food aid in Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

An immediate and extended response to the current drought and food crisis in East Africa is essential for limiting the vulnerability of millions looking for enough food to survive, said Bruce Campbell-Janz, director of Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) Africa Department.



Church of England considers News Corp. divestment

Rupert Murdoch was summoned by the British Parliament committee investigating his hacking scandal to give evidence next Tuesday, July 19, but it is not yet clear whether he will turn up. --Huffington Post

Church of England's Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) said it will consider selling its 3.8 million-pound (US$6 million) investment in News Corp. unless the media organization conducts a full and open inquiry into a phone hacking scandal.



Sudanese clergy seek to give aid in South Kordofan

Sudan's enormous humanitarian needs follow many years of inequitable development, marginalisation and internal conflicts that have displaced over 6 million Sudanese, including 2 million in Darfur and 2 million in the South, and left many destitute.

The government must allow humanitarian access to civilians who have been displaced by the fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state, Sudanese clergy said, amid reports of continued bombardment in the Nuba Mountains.



Anthem reversal revives Goshen College debate

Jesus Radicals and others replace the American and U.N. flags on the campus of Goshen College with the Agnus Dei and Earth flags. This was a protest against the college's decision to play the national anthem a year ago.

Praise, support, indifference, disbelief, outrage — and lots of media attention. Responses to a Goshen  College decision not to play the national anthem covered a wide range of perspectives.

'War through women's eyes'

Leymah Gbowee, executive director of Women Peace and Security Network-Africa, and Abigail Disney, the producer of documentaries on women peacebuilders, including one featuring Gbowee in Liberia, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” --Photo by Lindsey Kolb/EMU

Filmmaker Abigail Disney says she learned “to look at war through women’s eyes,” as a result of visiting Liberia in 2006 and meeting Leymah Gbowee, who now holds a masters in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU).



Gbowee was one of the leaders of a women’s movement that was instrumental in ending Liberia’s 14-year-long civil war in 2003.

MCC gifts to Japan will aid clean up, trauma healing

Mr. William, far left, owns Moriya Fruits Shop in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. His shop has been reclaimed from tsunami damage and is again open to serve the community. Also pictured are (l.-r.), Willie Reimer, MCC; Takeshi Komino, CWS; Shingo Kobayashi, who heads CWS’ implementing partner organization in the city; and volunteer “Dancho."

Japan in May, MCC director of Food, Disaster and Material Resources Willie Reimer was reminded that response to disaster must be personal and address individual trauma, however massive the tasks demanded by the surrounding devastation.

Lutheran president urges members to pursue justice

Bishop Munib Younan: "Popular uprisings in support of democracy in Northern Africa and the Middle East should be an important opportunity for churches in Arab countries."

The president of the Lutheran World Federation, (LWF), Bishop Munib Younan, urged members to pursue justice in the world, as the federation's governing Council considers a strategic plan for 2012 to 2017.



German church gathering ends on note of reconciliation

Rev. Margot Kaessmann told a Bible study she believes that a suggestion to pray with the Taliban by candlelight is "a much better idea than bombing water tank lorries in Kunduz."

The biennial faith gathering called the Kirchentag ended on June 5 after five days of theological and political discussions, concerts and a sense of reconciliation in a city devastated during World War II. 



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