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Rev. François Phiaatae

6 September 2022, Karlsruhe, Germany: Rev. François Phiaatae, newly elected WCC president for the Pacific region at the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches is held in Karlsruhe, Germany from 31 August to 8 September, under the theme "Christ's Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity."

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What inspires you most about taking on this important role within the WCC?

Rev. Pihaatae: I have been in an ecumenical journey of faith since 1995, and also served as a former general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches from 2013-2018. I think it is time to move to an international level as Gods will. Also, in serving at the WCC as an international forum, I think it is the right place to move the Pacific issues at the global level.

What are your greatest concerns in the Pacific?

Rev. Pihaatae: The greatest concerns for people in the Pacific include the self-determination and human dignity of West Papua, Maohi Nui and Kanaky. We are also focused on climate justice and the impacts of the sea level rise on the lowline atolls. We are seeking compensation from the French State for the victims of the 193 nuclear tests done in Moruroa and Fagataufa. And we are gravely concerned about the project of big international companies for seabed mining in the Pacific that will destroy our main source of life.

How will the WCC 11th Assembly help move you forward on the path of reconciliation and peace in the Pacific? 

Rev. Pihaatae: The WCC has already done much for the churches in the Pacific, and with the many insights, resources, and materials we gain during the assembly through the thematic plenaries, Bible studies, morning and evening worship, and daily sharing at the tables, the workshops, and home groups, we feel empowered to start our mission right after the assembly. The only thing we need from WCC is the pastoral accompaniment of our member churches through human resources, and also if possible, to move our mission forward in our region on the path for reconciliation and peace.

I thank God for this wonderful and very unique moment in our lives. The world, through the WCC assembly, has come together and been inspired by Gods Spirit where we share our joys, our pains, our angers, and at the same time find common ground so we can help each other in doing mission in our own context.

My sincere thanks to the moderator, the vice moderators, the acting general secretary, to all the WCC staff who worked hard to bring everybody to Karlsruhe, and in particular the host churches in Europe for warm hospitality that made us feel at home.

Last but not the least, with all the critical issues we are all facing today, the only arm to overcome them is faith. Mauruuru and God bless.

Livestream of the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany

Photos of the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany

WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany