LWF offers condolences to the Malagasy Lutheran Church

Rev. Dr David Rakotonirina, President, Malagasy Lutheran Church Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert
Rev. Dr David Rakotonirina, President, Malagasy Lutheran Church Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

MLC President David Rakotonirina passed away on 11 July 

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has conveyed sincere condolences to the Malagasy Lutheran Church (MLC) following the death of the church’s president, Rev. Dr David Rakotonirina. 

LWF received information from the MLC leadership that Rakotonirina, 58, had succumbed to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on 11 July in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo.   

He was laid to rest on Sunday, 12 July.  

In a letter to MLC Vice-President Rev. Octave Benil Andrianjafy, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge expressed the Lutheran communion’s “deep shock and sadness” upon learning of Rakotonirina’s death.  

Junge remembered the MLC president as a church leader and Council member who “served the LWF communion of churches in various ways, for which we are deeply grateful.” He recalled the September 2019 meeting of the international Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue commission which the church hosted on behalf of the LWF. 

We ask for your prayers that God may guide the leaders of the church and strengthen them all as they work together during this difficult moment for the church.
Rev. Dr Martin Junge, LWF General Secretary

The general secretary offered the Lutheran communion’s prayers to Rakotonirina’s family, the entire MLC, and the Malagasy people whom the church leader had served with dedication and commitment.  

Writing to the LWF Council, Junge “asked for your prayers that God may guide the leaders of the church and strengthen them all as they work together during this difficult moment for the church.”  

Rev. Dr David Rakotonirina has been MLC president since 2016. Elected to the LWF Council at the 2017 Assembly, he served on the Committees for Mission and Development and for Communications. 

 

The Malagasy Lutheran Church has 4 million members, and it joined the LWF in 1950. With 25 synods in the country and one in Europe, the church, which started with a few families, celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2018. Through its South to South program, the MLC today sends missionaries to Bangladesh, Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Tanzania, mostly as pastors or in diaconal ministries, such as medical personnel.