Svenska kyrkan

Archbishop to visit churches in Brazil and Colombia

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This weekend, Archbishop Antje Jackelén will travel to South America to visit the Lutheran churches in Brazil (IECLB) and Colombia (IELCO). She is invited as the main speaker at a national priests’ and deacons’ meeting in the city of Curitiba, in Brazil. In Colombia, which is currently in the midst of a complex and fragile peace process, the archbishop will hold talks with various stakeholders about the importance of continuing the peace process and allowing transitional justice to be observed.

In Colombia, the archbishop will meet with Act Church of Sweden's local partners, and get to know more about their work with achieving peace and gender justice. Photo: Magnus Aronson/Ikon
In Colombia, the archbishop will meet with Act Church of Sweden's local partners, and get to know more about their work with achieving peace and gender justice. Photo: Magnus Aronson/Ikon

The visit to the Lutheran churches in Brazil and Colombia provides an expression of solidarity within the Lutheran World Federation. It aims to provide support to two churches in countries with difficult political situations. At the same time, the churches have an important role to play in civil society. This is embodied by their diaconal work and efforts to exert influence, which relate to indigenous peoples, internal refugees, gender justice and equality, as well as theological reflection, environmental issues and peace.

“This trip is the result of several invitations and thorough planning going back some time. I am very pleased that we have managed to coordinate the holding of so many meetings and initiatives during the visit,” says Archbishop Antje Jackelén.

In addition to being the main speaker at the national priests’ and deacons’ meeting in Brazil, the archbishop will also give a lecture at the church's theological faculty EST in Porto Alegre and visit social projects on fair trade that are conducted under the auspices of the church. She will also participate in an open panel discussion at the Catholic University UNISINOS, about the role of religion in gender equality, environmental protection and the living conditions of indigenous peoples.

In Colombia, there will be a particular focus on the complex peace process. For example, the archbishop will meet with the Vice President and the Minister of the Interior, and at the Swedish Embassy in Bogotá she will talk with representatives from business and civil society about the role of various stakeholders in creating peace.

“The Church of Sweden supports the peace process and considers it to be important that the implementation of the peace agreement in Colombia continues. We know that the churches have an important role to play in this development. I look forward to meeting Act Church of Sweden's local partners in person and getting to know more about their work with achieving peace and gender justice,” says the archbishop.

Archbishop Antje will also meet with the priests of the Lutheran Church in Colombia, participate in an ecumenical panel discussion and join an ecumenical service marking the 20th anniversary of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, which was signed on 31 October 1999 by the Roman Catholic Church and the leadership of the Lutheran World Federation.

If you would like to conduct a telephone interview with the archbishop in Brazil or Colombia, please contact Press Officer Daniel Bramsell on +46 722372886, as he will also be on the trip.
Time differences: Brazil is 5 hours behind Swedish time and Colombia is 7 hours behind Swedish time.     

Facts about the Lutheran Church in Brazil:

The Lutheran Church in Brazil – Igreja Evangelica de Confecao Luterana no Brasil (IECLB) – has its roots in German immigration to the southern part of Brazil in the mid-19th century. The church has about 650,000 active members, in 18 dioceses.

Facts about the Lutheran Church in Colombia:

The Lutheran Church in Colombia – Iglesia Evangélica Luterana de Colombia (IELCO) –- was founded by North American missionaries, mostly women, who were sent to Colombia in the early 1900s by the Lutheran Church in Minnesota. The church has about 1,700 members, in four regions.

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In Colombia, the archbishop will meet with Act Church of Sweden's local partners, and get to know more about their work with achieving peace and gender justice. Photo: Magnus Aronson/Ikon
In Colombia, the archbishop will meet with Act Church of Sweden's local partners, and get to know more about their work with achieving peace and gender justice. Photo: Magnus Aronson/Ikon
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The Church of Sweden is a national church, open to everyone living in Sweden regardless of nationality. It is a place for church services, meetings and dialogue. The Church of Sweden is an Evangelical Lutheran church with 5,9 million members. There are 3500 churches in Sweden, and 13 dioceses.

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