In this issue:
- World Council of Churches 9th Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil
- International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel
- New group of Ecumenical Accompaniers arrives
EAPPI at the World Council of Churches 9th Assembly
The World Council of Churches 9th Assembly took place on 14-23 February in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Bringing together 3000 participants from the WCC’s 348 member churches around the globe, the theme for the assembly was ‘God in your grace, transform the world.’
The Assembly was attended by Chair of the EAPPI Local Reference Group, Bishop Munib Younan, International Programme Coordinator, Rifat Kassis and Local Programme Coordinator, Hermina Damons. Also in attendance were Swedish National Coordinators Emanuel Furbaken and Joanna Lilja, past Ecumenical Accompaniers Emily Mnisi (South Africa) and Doris Stucki (Switzerland) and Matthias Hui of the Reformed Church of Switzerland.
The EAPPI was showcased during a workshop – the "mutirao", a Portuguese word meaning "coming together”. The workshop heard testimonies from Bishop Munib Younan and past Accompaniers, as well as Gila Svirsky of the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace via audio clip.
The programme also hosted an exhibition which included a ‘Tree of Hope’. Assembly delegates left messages of hope to be brought back for the people of Palestine and Israel.
International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel
The World Council of Churches International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel will take place from 12 – 19 March. Church groups in twelve countries and members of the international Pax Christi and YMCA networks are taking part.
Church leaders in Jerusalem have sent out a message calling on Christian brothers and sisters around the world to join them in making a witness for peace. During the week, activities in different countries will signal to policy-makers and public audiences that, after decades of patient advocacy, churches are convinced that a just resolution to the conflict is more urgent than ever. For further information and a copy of the statement, please go to: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/home.html
The week will be launched in Jerusalem by the Heads of Churches with a Service of Prayer at St Stephen’s Basilica on 12 March. The week also includes a solidarity visit to the region from approximately 50 people from eight countries who will take part in a week-long programme of events, including a candlelit vigil at the Separation Wall, a visit to Hebron, and an olive tree planting day.
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
New group of Ecumenical Accompaniers arrives
The month of February was a busy month for the EAPPI. Due to concerns earlier in the month over the Danish cartoon controversy, EAPPI placements were closed for a short period. On 19th February, the 16th Group of Ecumenical Accompaniers arrived in Palestine and Israel. Fourteen new EAs from Canada, Sweden, Norway, UK, Switzerland and Germany, join five EAs who are continuing their terms from Group 15. The teams received their orientation in Jerusalem and have now gone to their placements. The following EAPPI placements are now operating: Hebron, Tulkarem, Jayyous, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Yanoun. The Ramallah placement has been temporarily closed due to the numbers of EAs we currently have on the ground.
Articles this month:
- Where are you from? (Marisa Johnson, UK)
To view, please go to: www.eappi.org and click on ‘Accompaniers Reports’
The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) supports Palestinians and Israelis working for peace by monitoring and reporting violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, offering protection by accompanying local communities in daily activities, and by advocating with churches for a peaceful end to the Occupation. The programme, which began in 2002, is coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC). The WCC is a fellowship of 347 churches, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. Its office is in Geneva, Switzerland.
For more information on the WCC: www.wcc-coe.org