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PRESS RELEASE NO. 29
Lutherans in Silent
Protest of Visa Denials
Process to The Forks to Show Solidarity with Absentees
WINNIPEG, Canada, 29 July
2003 - In silent
and solemn procession delegates and visitors to the Tenth Assembly
of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) walked from the Winnipeg
Convention Centre through the streets of Winnipeg to the Oodeena to
protest the Canadian government’s refusal to grant visas to 53 of
their fellow delegates from developing nations. The march was
organized by the Assembly host-church, the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Canada (ELCIC).
The Oodeena is situated
next to Johnston Terminal, the location of the Citizenship and
Immigration Canada offices.
The procession which had a
police escort was led by ELCIC National Bishop Raymond Schultz, LWF President Bishop em. Dr Christian Krause, LWF General Secretary
Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko. Others included the ELCIC's five synod bishops
and the Anglican bishop of Rupertsland diocese which includes
A single drumbeat greeted
the marchers’ arrival in the amphitheater. A fragrant wood fire
and torches lit the ancient Ojibway meeting ground, as a liturgy of
prayer and chant were punctuated by delegates’ personal stories of
discrimination and injustice. From Tanzania, Latin America and
Greenland, Indigenous Peoples shared their pain and the church’s
role in their presence here today. A round in which worshippers
chanted the single word "Shalom" in four parts seemed to
give voice to the purpose of the event: to show solidarity with
brothers and sisters who were not able to be present and to offer
them a symbol of hope for peace and justice.
Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is taking place
21-31 July 2003 in Winnipeg, Canada, under the theme "For the
Healing of the World." It is being hosted by the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).
There are around 820 men, women and youth participants in the Tenth
Assembly including 380 delegates from the
133 churches with full membership and three associate members. The Assembly is the highest
decision-making body of the LWF, and meets normally every six years.
Between Assemblies, the LWF is governed by its Council that meets
annually, and by its Executive Committee.
To order photographs, please contact
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