The President of the Lutheran World Federation, has called for a renewed vision and strategic focus to strengthen the unity of the church and address challenges facing humanity.
Rev. Dr Musa Panti Filibus, Archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, made the call while speaking on his election as the world leader of the Lutheran Church in an exclusive interview with voice of Nigeria, shortly after his arrival from Switzerland where he was elected as the Leader of the Church.
He said that his vision for the church in Africa and the world will be connected to the Lutheran Assembly.
“In a world that is so torn apart and broken, the unity of the church is critical in strengthening the unity of the church with other denominations and the outer world in addition to pursuing the unity within the church, it is critical that we strengthen our response in the face of human tragedy wherever it is found. It is the responsibility of the church to work against these challenges and render help where necessary” he said.
He added that for the church to achieve its mandate of building and promoting peace and unity globally there is need for collaborations among religious, political, traditional leaders, governments, NGO and Civil Society Organisations.
“There is need to affirm the importance of these stakeholders, we need to seek at the higher level to recognize the importance of each part, we may be different but there are interception in our teachings, in our understanding and what we need to address therefore leaders across the body of Christ and the world should mobilize themselves towards one another to seek ways to achieving a common goal, of addressing the challenges faced despite the differences in liturgy and tradition even interpretation, the most important thing is Christ and human unity,” he emphasised.
As the first Nigerian and second African to become the LWF leader, Rev. Musa Panti Filibus attributed the success to God through the support of the global leaders.
He added that Africa should be proud and stand tall to have provided leadership in the global church.
“ There is a chain of leadership that Africa has provided adding to me is the moderator of the world council of churches, a woman from Kenya, which means Africa has come of age, we are not what we think of ourselves as a little continent where what you hear is war, violence and displacement. Now we have something important to give to the give to the world.”
Rev Filibus also encouraged Africans never to give up the vision of proclaiming the gospel of Christ to the wind of change, but strengthen the concept of discipleship and remain rooted in Christ.
He also called on the church and world Leaders to create an enabling environment for the youths grow up as responsible and disciplined citizens.
“As adult, we have failed our young ones, we have not given them the best model for them to emulate. We have failed our fore fathers who fought and got Nigeria’s independence, have deviated from the vision of one united Nigeria, where everyone is treated as citizen with integrity and dignity,” he said.
Rev Musa Panti Filibus is the 13th person and the second church leader from Africa to hold the office of the President of the Lutheran World Federation, since the Lutheran World Federation was founded in 1947.