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Letter to Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff

Letter to Brazillian president Dilma Rousseff on Santa Maria fire incident

30 January 2013

Your Excellency,

On behalf of World Council of Churches, a global fellowship of 347 churches and denominations, we express to you our most sincere condolences for the tragic deaths of 231 people, many of them university students, who were killed as the result of a fire at a night club in the southern city of Santa Maria on Sunday, January 27th.

Our prayers are with you as a nation mourning the deaths of those young Brazilians, particularly those supporting all the people affected, including the churches of different confessions, which are providing the necessary accompaniment to families affected by the tragedy. We received testimonies from our member churches in Brazil reporting the ecumenical pastoral efforts being made locally and nationally. Such initiatives are a clear signal of the Christian unity and solidarity that we confess in our work worldwide.

We have also heard about and commend the intense efforts of your government to relieve the suffering of the families and to provide the indispensable care for those who are still hospitalized, and pray for their full recovery.

As the Psalmist expresses, “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8). May the Lord continue to comfort your nation and your people in this time of mourning!


Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary