In lieu of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the brutal Rwanda genocide, the leaders of the World Council of Churches have scheduled a visit to Africa, April 8-18, 2004.
The delegation will include the moderator of the World Council of Churches’ central committee, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I and the WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, one of the WCC presidents Dr Agnes Abuom, the director of the WCC Commission of Churches on International Affairs Mr. Peter Weiderud and the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) general secretary Myume Dandala.
The delegates will first visit Nairobi, Kenya, where the headquarters of the AACC and the National Council of Churches in Kenya (NCCK) is located. After meeting the leaderships of the ecumenical organizations, they will also meet with the president of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki.
This will mark the first time in which Kobia visits his home country as a WCC general secretary.
The African Christian leaders will offer a thanksgiving service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi for the WCC general secretary’s ecumenical work and commitment.
Kobia will give a public lecture on the theme "Behold, I create a new Africa" at St Andrew's Church in Nairobi. Also in Kenya, Aram I will give a public lecture on “Challenges of the ecumenical movement in the 21st century and the role of Africa” at the UFUNGAMANO, an initiative of churches, other religious faiths and civil society organizations
On April 16, the delegates will travel to Kigali, Rwanda, for meetings with WCC member churches and government officials. The visit’s highlight event will be the ecumenical workshop on “Lasting peace in Africa” in which Christian leaders all over Africa will attend.
Aram I will speak on "Genocides in the 20th century and lessons to humanity," while Kobia will speak on "Hope for lasting peace in Africa". They will also pay respects at the Kigali genocide site.
The following is the detailed program of the visit, as released by the WCC.
8 April 09:00 Press conference with Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia (venue to be confirmed)
10:00 Open forum with national church leaders (venue to be confirmed)
15:00 Kobia to give a public lecture: "Behold, I create a new Africa" (St Andrew's Church)
9 April 11:00 Worship at Kianjai Church; Kobia to preach
15:00 Visits: Kenya Methodist University and Meru Street Children's Home Project
11 April (to be confirimed) Easter service at Lavington United Church; Kobia to preach
13 April WCC moderator arrives in Nairobi
15:00 HH Aram I to give a public lecture: "Challenge of the ecumenical movement in the 21st century and the role of Africa" (UFUNGAMANO)
14 April 08:30 Visit to All Africa Conference of Churches headquarters
11:00 Visit to National Council of Churches of Kenya headquarters
15:00 Thanksgiving service for the WCC general secretary; Aram I to preach (All Saints Cathedral)
15 April 10:00 Visit to the Presbyterian Church at Kihumbuini; Kobia to give a presentation on "The importance of ecumenism in the 21st century"
16 April 09:30 Workshop on "Lasting Peace in Africa" (venue to be confirimed)
Peter Weiderud to speak on "Religion and ethnicity: gift from God or source of conflict"
Press conference after meeting with Rwandese government officials (venue to be confirimed)
17:00 Meeting with national church leaders (venue to be confirimed)
17 April 10:00 Workshop on "Lasting Peace in Africa" (venue to be confirimed)
Aram I to speak on "Genocides in the 20th century and lessons to humanity"
Kobia to speak on "Hope for lasting peace in Africa"
Rev. Dr Mvume Dandala to speak on "The contribution of the church for Africa unity"
15:00 Visit the Kigali genocide site
18 April 10:00 Worship service at the Kigali stadium: Aram I to preach