World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has congratulated the European Union for being the recipient of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
The EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 12 October for its six decades of work in advancing peace and democracy in Europe.
The news has received a mix response around the globe, but the world churches' chief was swift in responding positively.
The WCC “congratulates the European Union and its leaders on the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the EU,” said Dr Tveit in his message.
“After two world wars that killed millions of people and destroyed entire regions, it has been at the heart of the project of the European Union to bring peace and stability to the war-torn continent,” he added.
"At a time when the European Union is confronted with difficult challenges and struggling internally and in its external relations to uphold just and equitable relationships which make for peace, the award is an encouragement to focus on the values of peace, justice and solidarity in the search for a viable and vital future," Dr Tveit remarked.
The Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit is a Norwegian Lutheran theologian, from a country that is a non-EU member. He was elected to the post of General Secretary of the World Council of Churches on 27 August 2009. He entered office on 1 January 2010, for a proposed term of five years.
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in belief, action and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.