LWF president urges member churches to stand united in Myanmar

LWF president Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa with participants after the joint worship. Photo: LWF/ I. Htun

Visits to churches, diakonal work in Myanmar

(LWI) - On his visit to Myanmar, Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa, president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), called upon the LWF member churches in Myanmar to stand united against the forces that seek to isolate them from one from the other.

The LWF president was welcomed with a combined worship service attended by members of the four Lutheran churches in Myanmar. Preaching on Eph. 4, 1-6 the LWF president emphasized the call to unity as already issued by the apostle Paul. “In the history of Christian churches we have often allowed ourselves to be divided,” he said.

Musa, who is Archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, was elected president of The Lutheran World Federation at the Twelfth Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia, in May 2017.

Country undergoing rapid change

His message comes at a time when the member churches seek to build an united witness in a country undergoing rapid economic development and experiencing new social changes. A booming economy and new employment opportunities draw young people from the countryside, where the majority of the churches are based, to the cities.

The four Lutheran churches - the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Myanmar, the Myanmar Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church of Myanmar and the Mara Evangelical Church - have very diverse ethnic backgrounds.

The Lutheran churches are joined in the Federation of Lutheran Churches in Myanmar (FLCM) with a total membership of about 30,000. In 2017, they commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation together. In the multi-ethnic state of Myanmar, Christians are a minority, numbering about 6.2% of the total population.

Emphasis on peace

On his visit, the LWF president emphasized on the need for good relations between Christians, and among the many religions in Myanmar. “A peace which does not include everyone will not last,” he said. “If we are not at peace with God, we cannot be at peace with one another. If we are not at peace with one another, we cannot be peacemakers.”

In his response to the president’s visit, Rev James San Aung,  General Secretary of the Federation of Lutheran Churches in Myanmar, described the presence of the LWF President as a great encouragement to the LWF member churches to carry on their work in proclaiming the message of God’s liberating grace in Myanmar.

The LWF president visited Myanmar from 27 Jan to 2 Feb 2018. He met with representatives of the LWF member churches and the humanitarian operation of the LWF diakonal arm, LWF World Service in Sittwe, as well as government officials.



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