General secretary invites new German president to visit WCC

20.03.12

Joachim Gauck, a former Protestant pastor in East Germany and noted human rights activist, was elected on Sunday 18 March as president of the Federal Republic of Germany.

 

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), has congratulated President Gauck in a letter inviting the newly elected leader to visit the WCC offices at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

A co-founder of the New Forum movement during the peaceful revolution that led to the fall of the Berlin wall and reunification of East and West Germany, from 1990 to 2000 Gauck headed the agency that was created to handle the archives of the Stasi (East German secret state police), helping to uncover criminal conduct and acts of violence as a step toward healing and reconciliation.

 

Translation from German of Tveit’s letter to President Joachim Gauck

 

Press release of the Evangelical Church in Germany (in German)

 

The fall of the Berlin Wall and its meaning for the ecumenical movement (WCC feature article of 5 November 2009, by Konrad Raiser)