An encouragement for peace-building

Meeting of the LWF Council, Wittenberg, Germany, 15–21 June 2016. President’s address by Bishop Munib A. Younan. Photo: LWF/Marko Schoeneberg

LWF President Younan to receive the 34th Niwano Peace Prize

(LWI) The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has extended congratulations to Bishop Dr. Munib Younan who has been named as the 34th recipient of the distinguished Niwano Peace Prize. The Prize is given in appreciation of work toward interreligious dialogue among Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Jerusalem and worldwide. Munib Younan is bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. He was elected President of the LWF at the Eleventh Assembly in Stuttgart in 2010.

Through the work of dialogue, which requires an opening of the self towards another, it is possible to bridge rifts of difference and slowly make the spaces between Muslims, Jews, and Christians smaller.
Niwano Peace Foundation

“I come to the table of dialogue with different religious leaders from the three faiths,” Bishop Younan said, after the prize was announced. ”I come with the suffering of my people under my skin. I come to speak on the future of the people who are living in this land. Religious leaders have a responsibility. Peace and dignity will come with how we educate and how we dialogue and we can reflect this to the politicians.”

The prize is a “strong affirmation to continue upholding peace as necessary and possible, and an encouragement not to be derailed from peace-building in a conflicted and suffering world,” LWF General Secretary Martin Junge said to the LWI.

Promoting peaceful cooperation among religions

Each year The Niwano Peace Foundation (NPF) of Japan recognizes an individual or organization that has dedicated their service and scholarship to promoting peaceful cooperation among religions particularly in places of difficulty.  NPF focuses on peace within the fields of culture, science and education.

“In a world characterized by leaders who seek to emphasise difference and hatred, Bishop Younan has consistently strived for the opposite. His work emphasises peace over power and unity over domination,” a statement from the NPF says.

The statement concludes by saying that bishop Younan “has shown that through the work of dialogue, which requires an opening of the self towards another, it is possible to bridge rifts of difference and slowly make the spaces between Muslims, Jews, and Christians smaller. The Niwano Peace Foundation commends his tireless contribution and achievements, and it is with great pride that the 34th Peace Prize is awarded to him as the worthy and deserving recipient. “

An awards ceremony will take place in Tokyo, Japan on 27 July.

Former recipients of the Niwano include: Center for Peace Building and Reconciliation (Sri Lanka, 2016), Ms. Rosalina Tuyuc Velāsquez (Guatemala, 2012), Bishop Gunnar Stalsett (Norway, 2013), Dharma Master Cheng Yen (Republic of China 2007), His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal (Jordan, 2008).

 

Story on ELJCHL website

Press Release from the Niwano Peace Foundation

34th Niwano Peace Prize - Reasoning