Geneva, 6 December 2022

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes his covenant known to them. (Ps 25,14)

Your Eminences,

It is with deep sadness that we heard of the falling asleep in the Lord of His Holiness, Abune Kerlos I, the Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church.

The election of Abune Kerlos I as Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church came at a time of unprecedented challenges for the churches and people of Eritrea, and for the entire world. Through his spiritual leadership, though short, Abune Kerlos I promoted and sustained the spiritual life of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church. He strengthened the witness of his Church locally and globally through promoting and consolidating dialogues with other Oriental Orthodox Churches and supporting ecumenical engagement.

His Holiness Abune Kerlos I remains in the prayerful memory of the Church as an inspired spiritual leader who committed himself to a common and prophetic voice of Christians in Eritrea in the face of societal challenges.

We pray for the rest of the soul of Abune Kerlos I in the tents of the righteous (Ps 118,15) and in the light, peace and love of the Most Holy Trinity and we give thanks to Christ, our Lord, the One who is the resurrection and the life (cf. John 11:25), for the life and ministry of His Holiness.

On behalf of the World Council of Churches I extend our profound condolences to the members of the Holy Synod and to the entire Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church.

May his memory be eternal!

Yours in the Risen Lord,

Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca

Acting General Secretary

World Council of Churches