2 September 2022, Karlsruhe, Germany: Archbishop Dr Antje Jackelén of the Church of Sweden helps lead morning prayer at the World Council of Churches' 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany. 


Since the early years of your ministry, you have been an ambassador for Christian unity, gender equality, and institutional diakonia, being on constant alert to help people in need,” Sauca wrote. When you became the first female archbishop in 2014, a major milestone was reached not only in the history of the Church of Sweden but also of global Christianity.”

Jackelén was also the first immigrant in modern times to occupy the highest chair of her church.

With your approach of having a spiritual perspective on urgent issues, including a special attention to interreligious dialogue, you followed the steps of archbishop Nathan Söderblom, whose legacy lies at the heart of the mission and work of the World Council of Churches in many ways,” Sauca wrote. Therefore, I am confident that many will also draw inspiration from your ministry and follow your steps.”

Sauca also expressed thankfulness for her thoughtful and constructive engagement in the ecumenical movement.

Among the many examples of your involvement with the WCC, Id like to highlight the role you played at the 2015 consultation in Munich, Germany, focused on the international refugee crisis, as well as your active participation in 2016, in Rome, Italy, when some 80 leaders of governments, United Nations agencies, faith-related as well as non-religious civil society organizations from countries affected by the refugee crisis in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa met to discern how they could proactively influence and shape coordinated collective practical responses,” Sauca wrote. In 2017, you joined a delegation of WCC member church leaders to Iraq focused on the future of vulnerable people in the country following the expected military defeat of what has come to be called the Islamic State.”

More recently, Jackelén was responsible for moderating one of the Ecumenical Conversations during the WCC 11th Assembly.

May all the testimonies of gratitude addressed to you at this special time be an expression of the change you helped to build in the world among those who chose to join the journey of justice, peace, reconciliation and unity among Gods people and all of creation,” concluded Sauca.

Letter of gratitude for the work of Archbishop Dr Antje Jackelén (pdf)

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“World of Neighbors” aims to strengthen interreligious relations for migrants and refugees (WCC press release of 27 February 2020)