The World Council of Churches general secretary has welcomed the recent awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize, saying that it shows a strong message of support to those around the world who are struggling for freedom, development and the dignity of all human beings.
In his message, made available this week, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit says: "It is heartening that Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010."
He continues: "I consider this recognition of Liu Xiaobo to be an affirmation and acknowledgement of growing respect for human dignity and freedom around the world. It also signifies and underscores the essential parameters that are needed to ensure development, peace and reconciliation among peoples and nations."
Tveit added: "Another Nobel laureate, Dr Amartya Sen, once described 'development as freedom' and 'a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy'. Those societies that commit themselves to human dignity make the possibilities of development and fullness of life available to all."
"In order to achieve this potential, the human dignity of each individual should be protected. Christian faith respects the dignity of each person created in the image of God. Such core values are embodied in other religious traditions as well as in secular philosophies.
"The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo is a strong message of support to all those around the world who are struggling for freedom, development and the dignity of all human beings. It reminds all of us that each one of us is called to contribute to the common wisdom and understanding of what we need as humanity," said Tveit.
The World Council of Churches "promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world."
An ecumenical network of churches founded in 1948, the WCC today brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches covering more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.