At the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Lesotho Evangelical Church, a member church of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, WCC associate general secretary, expressed her deep admiration for the church’s missionary legacy and its “clear witness for God”. She also invited the Lesotho Evangelical Church to join the WCC Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.

Phiri represented the WCC at the celebrations in Morija, which concluded on 26 April.

“The missionary legacy of this church is important in forming the identity of its Basotho Christians. It gives us a reason to thank God for our Basotho traditional leaders who had the vision from God to call the missionaries from France in Europe to come and share the gospel with the people here,” Phiri said in her address at the event.

The Lesotho Evangelical Church has its roots in the missionary work of the Paris Evangelical Mission Society which built its first mission in Morija in 1833 at the invitation of King Moshoeshoe I.

Phiri also said that Christian faith in Lesotho has truly become an African religion and no longer is perceived as an imported religion. “Since the inception of this church, you have become relevant in this country through your missionary activities in the areas of: education; health; printing press and advocacy for a just society,” she added.

“The WCC praises you also for your active participation in the ecumenical bodies which bears testimony to the oneness of the body of Christ,” Phiri said.

Sharing about the WCC initiative Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, Phiri explained how this vision is a major outcome of the WCC 10th Assembly 2013. She said this is an invitation to Christians and people of good will from everywhere to join a pilgrimage of justice and peace. “I now extend this invitation once more to you to deliberate on how you are going to make this pilgrimage of justice and peace a reality in your context,” Phiri said.

“It is the prayer of the WCC that the God of Life will continue to lead you to justice and peace,” Phiri concluded.

Full text of the greetings delivered by Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri

LECSA Concludes 50th Anniversary Events (Lesotho Evangelical Church news release)