Bridge Builder Award Cemony 2021

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is receiving a Bridge Builder Award for building bridges of understanding between people, nations, and communities at national and international levels. The award is presented by the Jury of the 14th August Committee Norway together with The Oslo Center.

detail of "Journey Towards Peace, a quilt at the chapel of the ecumenical center, Geneva

"Journey Towards Peace", by Deborah Stockdale, Ireland. This quilt was commissioned especially for an exhibition to reflect the themes of overcoming violence and movement towards a peaceful society. It was inspired by the stained glass window at the WCC Geneva headquarters.


The prize was announced by Aamir Sheikh, leader of the 14th of August Commitee in Oslo, together with the Executive Director of the Nobel Peace Center, Kjersti Fløgstad, on Friday 2 July. Bridge Builder Award - is awarded by the 14th of August Committee Norway to persons and institutions who have contributed to building bridges across individuals, nations and societies, both in Norway and internationally. This year, the prize goes to three of the world’s most important, religious leaders and heads of the large, monoteistic religions: HE Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca, acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches, HE Michael Melchior, Chief Rabbi and leader of The Religious Peace Initiative in Israel and Muslim leader HE Muhammad Bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa.

The World Council of Churches is a powerful voice globally and a peacemaker and bridge builder between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, with vast respect for all the world's religions,” reads the award description from the Jury of the 14th August Committee Norway and The Oslo Center. It is time to send a clear peace message to the world by working even closer together to extinguish conflict and violence while raising the values of respect, love, and tolerance for each other that are all rooted in the three monotheistic religions.”

The award comes at the time when the WCC is celebrating 50 years of nurturing and cultivating interreligious dialogue.  Learn more about the award: WCC honored with Bridge Builder Award 2021 | World Council of Churches (oikoumene.org)

Bridge Builder Award to religious leaders | Nobel Peace Center

Award ceremony in brief:

- Welcome by Mr. Aamir Javed Sheikh, President
- Moderated by H.E. Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik, Former Prime Minister of Norway
- Speech by Dr. Farouq Wael Eissa, Associate Professor at Catholic University of Milan
- Music performance by Catholic University of Milan
- Presentation of Bridge Builder Awards 2021 to prize winners by H.E. Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik
- Speech by World Council of Churches, H.E. Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca, Acting General Secretary
- Speech by Religious Peace Initiative, H.E. Chief Rabbi Michael Melchior, President
Speech by H.E. Dr Mohammad Bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary general of the Muslim World League
- Music performance by Michael Ochs
- Speech by H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO
- Speech by H.E. Mr. Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Music performance Ben Adams

The 22-November award ceremony is available by livestream from 6:30 PM (CET).