HANNOVER, November 4, 2010 – “The unity of our Lutheran communion is our aim, and it must be our goal that no actions or decisions by individual churches can be viewed as divisive for this communion. Because, in our unity, there is a living witness.”
With these words Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) and President of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) opened his address to the Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands (VELKD) in November 2010.
Younan was invited to address the eleventh General Synod of the VELKD in Hannover during their November meetings, and was pleased to be able to attend.
This visit gave the opportunity for Younan to share his appreciation for the strong support of VELKD as well as to outline more fully the path of accompaniment that stretches out before and beyond the Lutheran communio.
In his address, Younan called for continued partnership between churches in the Middle East, the churches of Europe, and of the world, and thanked VELKD for its commitment to interfaith dialogue.
Drawing his address to a close, Younan addressed the concerns of Christians in the Middle East and the growth of extremism in all religions, saying:
“For me, extremism cannot be fought except with the weapons of education and interfaith dialogue. For this reason, the LWF, VELKD, and ELCJHL must be committed to working together so that churches and various development agencies can succeed in their mission. Education can teach the world to be more tolerant and to respect the rights of the other, accepting the other as they are. Through interfaith dialogue we can understand and accept our differences while recognizing equality in our humanity. This is the reason that in our education we want to promote a theology of creation side by side with a theology of salvation.”