Living Letters solidarity visit to Nigeria

15 - 20 May 2010

Built around as well as on the water, the Makoko slums in Nigeria house thousands of people. Photo: Maike Gorsboth/EWN

An international ecumenical team of “Living Letters” will be visiting Nigeria from 15 to 20 May 2010 on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Nigeria is the most populous and largest oil-producing country in 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. Since the oil revenues only benefit the ruling minority, Nigeria has remained economically a poor country. For many years, the WCC has supported the Ogoni people in their struggle against the 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 broke out 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 help to confront challenges in order to overcome violence, promote and pray for peace.

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

  • Most Rev. Dr Robert Aboagye-Mensah , Vice-President of All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), and member of the WCC Central Committee, Ghana;
  • 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;
  • Most Rev. 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;

WCC staff:

  • Dr Mathews George, Director, International Affairs of the World Council of Churches, India;
  • Dr Nigussu Legesse, Programme Executive for Africa, World Council of Churches, Ethiopia.