Geneva, 27 May, 2016
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."(Matthew 5: 6, 9)
Dear Steven and Caroline, and all members of the extended Harper family:
I write not only for myself and on behalf of the World Council of Churches as it is today, but for generations past who knew Chuck and served at his side, and for generations to come who will find in him, as I do, a model of effective action on behalf of justice and peace, and an inspiration to us all. Not least, I write on behalf of every one of my predecessors as General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, from Willem A. Visser ’t Hooft and Eugene Carson Blake in the early years, down to the present day – every one of us has known Chuck, and we have appreciated him greatly.
It is an amazing thing that someone who began his work in Europe 55 years ago has continued to be such a vibrant part of our consciousness, and conscience. I came to appreciate him and his legendary human rights work as never before less than five years ago, when the WCC helped repatriate the “Brasil: Nunca Mais” archives to the Brazilian justice ministry. Although he could not accompany us to São Paulo at that time, I was delighted that his granddaughter Nina was there to represent his witness to justice and human dignity.
We in the ecumenical movement give thanks to God, and we spare a special word of thanks to you – the members of Chuck’s family who so generously have shared him with us – for the life and work of Charles R. Harper, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and a champion of all who hunger and thirst for justice and for peace.
May God bless you in this hour, and may the assurance of eternal life keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit.
With deepest respect,
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit