10.05.10 17:39 Age: 2 yrs

WCC Living Letters team to visit Nigeria


A Living Letters team of the World Council of Churches (WCC) will pay a solidarity visit to Nigeria from 15-20 May 2010.


The ecumenical team will visit one of the most conflict-affected areas, in and around the city of Jos in the Central Plateau State, a region where several hundred people were killed in inter-ethnic clashes in recent months.


They will also meet heads of churches in the capital city Abuja, as well as leading Muslim personalities involved in peace and reconciliation efforts in the country. Meetings with President Goodluck Jonathan and with the governor of the Central Plateau State, Jonah Jang, are scheduled.


Nigeria is the most populous and largest oil-producing country of Africa. Since its independence, the country has gone through a succession of military and civilian regimes marked by corruption, violence, and human rights abuses. In 1999, elections brought back a more stable government. Economically, Nigeria has remained a poor country, as the oil revenues only benefit the ruling minority. For many years, the WCC has supported the Ogoni people, indigenous to the oil-rich Niger Delta, in their struggle against the exploitation and environmental degradation caused by oil companies.


During the past years, Nigeria has been affected by ethnic and religious conflicts. Recent developments showed that social, economic, tribal and cultural causes were at the root of the tensions that erupted in various parts of the country. Poverty, corruption and mismanagement are the underlying factors that are fuelling conflicts, and sadly resulting in gross human rights violations.


Living Letters are small ecumenical teams visiting a country to listen, learn, share approaches and to help confront challenges in order to overcome violence and promote and pray for peace. They are organized in the context of the WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence as a preparation for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in 2011.


The WCC Living Letters delegation to Nigeria will be composed of:

  • Bishop Dr Robert Aboagye-Mensah, vice-president of All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), and member of the WCC Central Committee, Ghana;
  • Rev. Dr Volker Faigle, Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD);
  • Rev. Dr Johnson Mbillah, general adviser, Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA), Ghana/Kenya;
  • Ms Mbari Kioni, director of advocacy at the AACC, Kenya;
  • Archbishop Daniel Okoh, Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), Nigeria;
  • Mr Arne Saeveras, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Norway;
  • Mr Jan Guehne, Mission 21, Switzerland/Germany/Nigeria;
  • Ms Outi Vasko, Orthodox Church of Finland, WCC Central Committee and Executive Committee member;
  • Dr Mathews George Chunakara, director, Commission of the Churches on International Affairs,World Council of Churches;
  • Dr Nigussu Legesse, programme executive for Africa, World Council of Churches.


The WCC team will be joined by WCC Central Committee members from Nigeria.


WCC member churches in Nigeria


WCC calls for security for all citizens of Nigeria


WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence


International Ecumenical Peace Convocation