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World Council of Churches’ General Secretary in Christchurch

Media Advisory: 4 October 2016

World Council of Churches’ General Secretary in Christchurch

The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit will visit Christchurch on the 8 and 9 October 2016.

He will speak on the WCC’s high level peacemaking work in response to the situations in Israel, Palestine and Syria at a meeting in the Christchurch North Methodist Church, at 2pm on Saturday 8 October.

The WCC has convened significant meetings between Christian and Muslim leaders from Syria and other parts of the Middle East. With support from a number of foreign governments the talks are trying to negotiate pathways to peace and the protection of people even as conflict continues.

While in Christchurch he will tour the city to see developments since the earthquakes of 2010/11 and visit the Christchurch Methodist Mission affordable housing initiative in Linwood.

Dr Tveit will preach on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace Sunday 9 October at a combined service at Knox Church (28 Bealey Ave) at 10am. The WCC has been working under the framework of a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace since the 10th global Assembly held in South Korea in 2013.

The WCC has a very credible history working for reconciliation, justice and upholding human rights. Involved in Israel and Palestine since its beginning, the organisation was deeply troubled by the interrogation of WCC members attending an April climate change consultation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. WCC representatives met with the Israeli Mission in Geneva in May this year after this unprecedented incident.

Rev Dr Fykse Tveit took up to position of general secretary in January 2010 after completing a term as the general secretary of the Church of Norway's Council on Ecumenical and International Relations. He is in New Zealand from 6 to 10 October, visiting Dunedin, Auckland and Christchurch.

The WCC, which is based in Geneva, is a fellowship of 348 churches which held its first Assembly in 1948. The New Zealand Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches are members of the WCC.

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