Three-quarters of the World Council of Churches’ 348 member bodies paid their membership contributions in 2005, compared with 55 percent in 1999, the main governing body of the world’s biggest church grouping reports.
In an unprecedented meeting with Muslim envoys on September 25, Pope Benedict XVI called for “authentic dialogue” between religions and cultures. He also said Christians and Muslims “must learn to work together” to safeguard the world “against all forms of intolerance” and “all manifestations of violence.”
After consultation with the congregation, clergy and legal counsel, the governing board of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, on September 21 voted unanimously (26-0) “to challenge legally, and in a court of law,” the right of the Internal Revenue Service to proceed with either of two summonses served on the church by the IRS on September 15.
In a series of nationwide protests, a number of religious leaders have risked arrest by partaking in acts of civil disobedience in an effort to inspire a mass mobilization of people of faith against the Iraq war. Among those arrested in September protests in front of the White House was James Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodists’ General Board of Church and Society.