With shock and great distress, the Conference of European Churches has received news of the attack in the church of St-Etienne-du-Rouvray (France). The violent attack resulted in the death of Fr Jacques Hamel and two other persons. Several members of the congregation were also wounded, one critically.Read more
An elderly French priest celebrating Mass was taken hostage, along with two nuns and several laypersons, today in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and killed before two hostage-takers’ themselves were killed in confrontation with police, the French interior ministry reported today.Read more
Below is a statement from the Middle East Council of Churches on the attack in Nice, France on 14 July.Read more
Press Release No: 16/25
15 July 2016
Nice attack: Amidst bloodshed, build peace with all people of faith and goodwill
The Conference of European Churches deplores the deaths of at least 84 people and the injuring of many more late last night in Nice (France). The attack involved a truck driven through large crowds gathered to enjoy fireworks for the French national celebration. Families, children, parents, and friends from across Europe—and even around the world—were gathered along the Côte d'Azur to celebrate in a joyful way.
France Sets May 30 Date for Mideast Peace Conference [The Forward]
With U.S. efforts to broker a two-state accord in tatters since April 2014 and Washington focused on a November presidential election, Paris has lobbied countries to commit to a conference before then that would set out a framework to get Israelis and Palestinians back into negotiations.
By Stephen Brown*
French President François Hollande praised Protestant churches and organizations for their work in areas such as health, social inclusion and support for refugees and migrants during a meeting on 13 April at the presidential Elysée Palace with 300 Protestant leaders and representatives.Read more
By Sean Hawkey*
Azad** is a refugee from the north of Aleppo, Syria and is currently in The Jungle camp in Calais, France.
“It’s hard here” says Azad, and then falls quiet. “People are hungry, cold, afraid and we can’t do anything”. He’s sitting cross-legged on the floor of a small shelter.
There are nearly 7,000 people in the camp. They are fleeing war, repression, economic collapse and climate change in countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia.
“We have to delete our memories, and the dead cannot come back to life” says Azad “but we still have hope of a new beginning, a different future, the end of the war in Syria. That's all we want for the new year”.Read more
Mere days after terror attacks in Beirut and Paris, the theme of an interfaith meeting of Christians and Muslims at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on “Religion, Peace and Violence” was entirely appropriate, said participants.Read more
Over many years, the National Council of Churches has often expressed our aspirations and sorrows, our confidence and fears, related to an eventual peace in the Middle East.Read more