(LWI) - Putting ecumenism into action and witnessing the plight of migrants fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea: those were the twin objectives of a recent visit by Church of Sweden Bishop Karin Johannesson to the southernmost Italian island of Lampedusa, which lies close to Tunisia off the north African coast.
Johannesson, who is bishop of Uppsala, has made strengthening ecumenical relations a priority since her consecration in 2019. As part of the Porvoo agreement between Lutheran and Anglican churches in Europe, she presided and preached at Sunday worship on World Refugee Day in the Anglican parish of Holy Cross, Palermo.
During her 18 to 21 June trip, she also attended a Catholic Mass at the parish of San Gerlando in Lampedusa and visited an ancient shrine used for centuries by both Christian and Muslim survivors of shipwrecks in the region. Since the early 2000s, the island has become a major transit point for migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia seeking to enter Europe in search of safety and decent living conditions.