14.06.11 18:12 Age: 265 days

WCC general secretary begins week-long visit to Brazil


The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit arrived Tuesday in São Paulo, Brazil for a six-day visit which includes the delivery of documents related to human rights issues during the military dictatorship from 1964 - 1985 and visits with Brazilian churches and Latin America ecumenical agencies.


Tveit and the moderator of the WCC Central Committee, Lutheran Brazilian pastor Rev. Dr Walter Altmann, as well as a number of Brazilian Christian leaders will visit the headquarters of Brazil’s Public Prosecution Office in São Paulo.


During a ceremony on Tuesday they will present a collection of some 7,000 pages of documentation for repatriation. These documents reflect work done nearly three decades ago to document and expose the brutal torture of Brazilians by the then military government.


The documents, which were held in the WCC archives in Geneva, Switzerland, will be used to implement “Project Brasil: Nunca Mais Digital”, a project that will make the documents available for online research and public access.


During his visit to Brazil Tveit will be accompanied by Rev. Dr Ofelia Ortega, one of seven regional presidents of the WCC; Elias Crisostomo Abramides, of Argentina, representing the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the WCC working group on climate change; and Rev. Carlos Emilio Ham, WCC programme executive for Latin America.


The delegation will attend the meeting of the confessional families of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) bringing together more than 50 representatives of member churches. They will meet at the Salesian Institute Pius XI in São Paulo, 14-16 June.


Tveit and Altmann will also meet with the CLAI board of directors on 16 April to address issues related to the ecumenical commitment to the defence of human rights in Colombia.


From 17-18 June, Tveit and the WCC delegation will meet with representatives of the Ecumenical Forum of Brazil (FE Brasil), which is the national forum of the ACT Alliance and the Platform of Coordination and Dialogue (PAD) which gathers representatives of various organizations and agencies of North and South working in Brazil.


Other delegation visits include projects and initiatives of WCC member churches in Brazil, such as the Evangelical Church of Lutheran Confession in Brazil (IECLB) inclusion programme for the homeless and needy, a visit to the Methodist University theological college, and projects of the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPIB), the Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB), the United Presbyterian Church (IPU) and of the Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.


On Sunday, 19 June, Tveit will speak at an ecumenical service to be held at First Presbyterian Church of São Paulo.


More on the programme of 14 June


WCC member churches in Brazil