The peace churches that together constitute the North American relief and development agency Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) are putting money and effort into post-war reconstruction in the Lebanon. But what is most required is an end to the conflict that has fuelled human misery in recent months, its on-the-ground partners say.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, says that the care he saw being given to a baby from an economically deprived family in Bethlehem during his pilgrimage there was a shining reminder of the Christmas message ‚Ä' that God's revolutionary love comes to us as a gift, in the face of all life's trials and joys.
In his Christmas message to the churches in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, and Cyprus, Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah has offered a vision of peace, justice, freedom and an end to the occupation for the Holy Land ‚Ä' so that it might truly be a sign of hope to the world.
The death of a village priest, his wife and three small children in a mysterious fire has highlighted hardships that Russian Orthodox clergy face in isolated locations outside Moscow's bubble of wealth and power ‚Ä' writes Sophia Kishkovsky from Moscow for Ecumenical News International.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has expressed concern about the safety of historic Christian communities in the Middle East, and particularly in Iraq, given current tensions in the region and the continuing consequences of Western policy.