WCC congratulates Junge on Augsburg Peace Prize

By agency reporter
October 24, 2017

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit congratulated Rev. Dr Martin Junge, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), for receiving the Augsburg Peace Prize on 20 October in Augsburg, Germany.

The Augsburg Peace Festival has been celebrated every year since 1650. Every three years since 1985 the Augsburg Peace Prize “for special achievements promoting areas of interconfessional agreement” has been jointly awarded by the City of Augsburg and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria.

Former prize-winners include Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria and Richard von Weizsäcker.

“Junge has through his leadership continued and strengthened the LWF commitment to work for people across the world who are fighting for justice and peace”, said Tveit. “I warmly congratulate you for this recognition of the difference you have made for individuals, churches, communities and all of humanity. We are grateful for your perseverance, insight and, above all, your demonstration of faith through consistent action. This is done as an expression of the one ecumenical movement, and the WCC appreciates very much working and walking closely in Geneva and in the world with the LWF and its leadership in our Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace. The efforts towards reconciliation and more cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church at the marking of 500 Years of Reformation has been a great contribution to the one ecumenical movement towards unity.”

Tveit added, “In today's world, we need peacemakers like you more than ever.”

During the acceptance ceremony, Junge issued an appeal not to regard the church as an end in itself. “Worship and service to the world belong together,” he stated. With respect to the worldwide refugee movements, he said that caring for the suffering neighbor is an inalienable part of Christian identity. “Those who claim that Europe must close its borders to preserve its Christian identity do not understand the meaning of Christian faith at all.”

* World Council of Churches http://www.oikoumene.org/en

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