From the Worldwide Faith News archives

LWF General Secretary Against War as a Political Means for Peace

From "Frank Imhoff" <>
Date Tue, 25 Feb 2003 11:08:17 -0600

LWF General Secretary Against War as a Political Means to Achieve
Noko Welcomes Germany's Position on Iraq

HANOVER, Germany/GENEVA, 25 February 2003 (LWI) - The general
secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Rev. Dr Ishmael
Noko, recently welcomed Germany's position concerning the conflict
over Iraq. "I hope the German people and government will keep to
their firm stand for peace," Noko told journalists during a visit
to Hanover.

He noted that the German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, was
also speaking for many smaller nations in his address to the UN
Security Council. Noko was in Hanover February 8-11 at the
invitation of Bishop Margot Kaessmann, Evangelical Lutheran Church
of Hanover.

The general secretary emphasized that Christian communities
world-wide are united in their commitment to peace. However, ACT
(Action by Churches Together), the world-wide network of churches
and partner organizations, of which the LWF is a founding member,
is also preparing for refugee relief in case of war. Noko recalled
that Iraq received arms from the very nations now complaining that
the weapons endanger them.

Noko joined the Hanover bishop in leading Sunday worship on
February 9 in the city's Marktkirche. During a February 10 visit
to the Protestant secondary school Gymnasium Andreanum in
Hildesheim, Germany, the general secretary's address to some 150
pupils was on the theme of the possibility of war in Iraq. Noko
said he was convinced that war is not a political means of
bringing about peace. In his view, 50 years of international
development work was being put at risk. He noted that instead of a
"pre-emptive war," bridges should be built between nations and

Asked about the LWF's understanding of mission in view of the
wounds left behind by colonialism, particularly in Africa, Noko
stressed that the LWF, currently involved in relief,
reconstruction and development work in more than 30 countries
worldwide does not seek to merely help the powerless, but rather
to strengthen them and improve their situation. He pointed out
that LWF staff members do not approach people from a position of
power. The LWF, he continued, does not see itself as hierarchical,
but rather interprets the idea of mission as coming from local
Christian groups.

In his farewell to the pupils, Noko said he was looking for young
people to whom to pass on the staff which the "old folks" had been
carrying for a long time.

Noko met with the Hanover church delegates to the July 2003 LWF
Tenth Assembly that will take place in Winnipeg, Canada. Around
1,000 participants are expected at the Assembly, including 436
delegates from the 136 LWF member churches. The Assembly is the
highest decision-making body in the LWF and meets every six years.
Kaessmann will be one of the two main speakers at the Assembly.

 From February 7-8, the general secretary was a guest at the synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD).
meeting of the North Elbian Church in Rendsburg at the invitation
of Dr. Hans Christian Knuth, presiding bishop of the United

(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the
Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund (Sweden), the LWF now
has 136 member churches in 76 countries representing over 61.7
million of the 65.4 million Lutherans worldwide. The LWF acts on
behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as
ecumenical relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human
rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and
development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva,

[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is LWF's information service.
Unless specifically noted, material presented does not represent
positions or opinions of the LWF or of its various units. Where
the dateline of an article contains the notation (LWI), the
material may be freely reproduced with acknowledgment.]

*	*	*
PO Box 2100, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
English Editor: Pauline Mumia
Tel: (41.22) 791.63.54
Fax: (41.22) 791.66.30

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home