WCC chief encourages peacemakers during DRC visit

By agency reporter
August 21, 2018

The World Council of Churches (WCC) General Secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, as head of a delegation visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), offered a sermon on  encouraging peacemakers during an ecumenical service in the Protestant Cathedral in Kinshasa on 19 August 2018.

"This is a great and compelling life task: to protect our peace, to act in a way that enables us to be one—even though we are different,” said Tveit. “We need examples of our potential to change the world for the better.”

The recent fruition of the peace process in Ethiopia and Eritrea has been encouraging to peacemakers, he reflected. “It is possible for them – it is possible for all of us,” he said. “Everyone needs peace.” 

We also need words that can unite us, Tveit continued. “We need words that can establish norms and agreements about how things should be, even though things are not actually so”, he said. “Not yet.”

Tveit added “We have to be together as churches in our efforts for peace. This was a conclusion of the visit of Pope Francis to the WCC in June. Walking, praying and working together was the motto. This is what we are doing just now. “

Tveit also shared his sadness at the news of the death of peacemaker Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, who died on 18 August. “Even if he did not succeed always, he continued to make efforts for peace, in many conflicts in Africa and elsewhere”, said Tveit. “He lived in my neighbourhood outside Geneva, and he encouraged the work of the WCC. May he rest in God’s eternal peace.”

WCC leaders are visiting the DRC from 19-21 August to meet with religious leaders and government officials, and to express solidarity with the people and pray for just peace.

The visiting delegation includes Tveit and the Rev Dr Frank Chikane, moderator of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, along with representatives from the All Africa Conference of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church.

The visit also coincides with a A WCC 'Pilgrim Team' visit under the theme 'African Women of Faith and Gender Justice', that aims to acknowledge and build women’s roles in church and society.

* The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

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

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