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Condolence message on Tosh Arai's death

Message of Condolences on Rev. Dr Toshitsugu Arai's passing away to United Church of Christ in Japan

16 January 2013


It is with great sadness that we received the news of the passing away of the Rev. Dr Toshitsugu Arai, former staff member of the World Council of Churches and Christian Conference of Asia (CCA).

“Tosh”, affectionately called by colleagues and friends was known for his pastoral care, collegiality, spirituality, and ecumenical commitment. He devoted his entire life to the church and ecumenical movement and his contributions in the field of ecumenical leadership development will be remembered by the ecumenical family. Through his untiring work as Director of the Nippon Christian Academy in Japan, as Executive Secretary for Ecumenical Education of the Christian Conference of Asia, Associate General Secretary of CCA, Secretary of Lay Academies of the WCC’s sub-unit on Renewal and Congregational Life. 

Tosh Arai demonstrated outstanding leadership in training future ecumenical leaders in different parts of the world. Tosh Arai was instrumental in developing an annual Asian Ecumenical Course for younger generation of Asian ecumenists in 1970s which still continues through CCA.

Coming from the Japanese Buddhist spiritual and cultural traditions, the underlying convictions of his Christian and ecumenical life began to take shape at an early age. He has been an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ in Japan and throughout his life he led a principled life devoted to promote ecumenism, peace building, interfaith relations and ecumenical leadership development. 

On behalf of the World Council of Churches, I take this opportunity to express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, friends and all members of the United Church of Christ in Japan.

May his soul rest in peace.

Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary