As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
First prize goes to a photo supporting the LGBT movement in Russia. Immigration, Ebola and European demonstrations were also highlighted by the jury.
The World Press Photo 2015 Contest drew entries from around the world: 97,912 images were submitted by 5,692 press photographers, photojournalists, and documentary photographers from 131 countries.
The jury gave prizes in 8 themed categories to 42 photographers of 17 nationalities from: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Denmark, Eritrea, France, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.
We've selected 4 of the best pictures sent by the World Press Photo 2015 organisation to Evangelical Focus:
1. 7 June, off the coast of Libya. Caption: Shipwrecked people are rescued aboard a boat 20 miles north of Libya by a frigate of the Italian navy. After hundreds of men, women and children had drowned in 2013 off the coast of Sicily and Malta, the Italian government put its navy to work under a campaign called “Mare Nostrum” rescuing refugees at sea. Only in 2014, 170,081 people were rescued and taken to Italy.
2. 26 August, Donetsk, Ukraine. Caption: Damaged goods lie in a kitchen in downtown Donetsk. Ordinary workers, miners, teachers, pensioners, children, and elderly women and men are in the midst of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Artillery fire killed three people and wounded 10 on 26 August 2014.
3. Freetown, Sierra Leone. Caption: Medical staff at the Hastings Ebola Treatment Center work to escort a man in the throes of Ebola-induced delirium back into the isolation ward from which he escaped. In a state of confusion, he emerged from the isolation ward and attempted to escape over the back wall of the complex before collapsing in a convulsive state. A complete breakdown of mental facilities is a common stage of advanced Ebola. The man pictured here died shortly after this picture was taken.
4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Caption: Argentina player Lionel Messi comes to face the World Cup trophy during the final celebrations at Maracana Stadium. His team lost to Germany 1-0, after a goal by Mario Götze in extra time.
1ST PRIZE FOR LGBT MOVEMENT IN RUSSIA
The jury awarded the World Press Photo of the Year 2014 prize to a picture taken by Danish photographer Mads Nissen, showing two homosexual men in a room in Russia. “Jon and Alex, a gay couple, during an intimate moment in St. Petersburg”, as the jury described it.
Jury chair Michele McNally, director of photography and assistant managing editor of The New York Times, explained why the first prize was given to this picture: “It is an historic time for the image… the winning image needs to be aesthetic, to have impact, and to have the potential to become iconic. This photo is aesthetically powerful, and it has humanity.”
“The photo has a message about love being an answer in the context of all that is going on in the world. It is about love as a global issue, in a way that transcends homosexuality, added jury Alessia Glaviano.
“The winning image fosters debate not only within the photo community, about who we are and where we’re going and what we’re trying to say, but also in the larger community. The images are seen and discussed by tens of thousands of people,” concluded Donald Weber.
The prize-winning pictures are presented in an exhibition visiting around 100 cities in about 45 countries. The first 2015 World Press Photo exhibition opens in Amsterdam in De Nieuwe Kerk on 18 April 2015.
SEE MORE PICTURES IN GALLERY BELOW: