World Council of Churches Head Concludes Trip to Scandinavia

Dr. Samuel Kobia, the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), concluded his March visit to Scandinavia with a call to help the people of Africa, March 7, 2005.

Kobia, a native of Kenya, began his 10-day trip to Scandinavia with a Eucharist service in Sweden. The service, held in Uppsala Cathedral, also featured a public lecture on “The church in Africa and the global realities.”

He continued on to Norway, where he landed on March 1, and met with the nation’s Prime minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik. According to WCC Press, Bondevik “was very interested in WCC’s role in interfaith dialogue,” and “underlined the need to increase this dialogue within the international community.”

The two leaders also discussed the peace process in Sudan, and expressed their gratitude to the states and churches working to bring a smooth transition in the recovering nation.

Afterwards, Kobia went to Denmark – the last stop on his first tour of Scandinavia as General Secretary – where he lent a “helping hand to the DanChurchAid Lenten appeal for Africa.

"It is nice to see how the money for aid to Africa comes from ordinary people," said Kobia, who went from house to house in Copenhagen to collect funds for the “Stop the silent hunger” appeal. "Some Africans rather associate help from Europe with big organizations and states."

By the end of the one-day blitz, DanChurchAid raised a record 15 million Danish Krones for the effort.

While in Denmark, Kobia also visited representatives from the National Council of Danish Churches, including the Baptist and Methodist Churches, and talked with the minister for church affairs, Bertel Haarder.