Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, ACT Alliance’s General Secretary, is in Kraków, Poland attending the Lutheran World Federation’s Thirteenth Assembly, which is bringing together 355 official delegates as well as associate members, ecumenical guests, presenters, ex officio members, volunteers and staff under the theme One Body, One Spirit, One Hope.
De Faria addressed the Assembly on September 15, bringing greetings from the ACT Alliance:
I extend my warmest greetings to the esteemed members of the Lutheran World Federation Assembly 2023. As the General Secretary of the ACT Alliance, Action by Churches Together, I convey my heartfelt regards on behalf of our alliance’s entire membership. I wish you wisdom and courage as you engage in these important deliberations.
It is both a pleasure and an honor for me to participate in the 13th General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), convened here in the historic city of Kraków, Poland, under the theme “One Body, One Spirit, One Hope.”
The theme of this Assembly carries profound significance in today’s world. It underscores the imperative of unity and collaboration among diverse churches, individuals, and communities. It also underscores the pressing need to work collectively in addressing global challenges such as social injustice, climate change, and conflict. This theme emphasizes the interconnectedness of humanity, highlighting that a shared sense of purpose and hope can serve as a catalyst for positive change. Ultimately, it encourages us to recognize our common humanity and unite in our efforts to create a more inclusive, just, and sustainable world.
My connection with the LWF dates back to 1992, during my time in Brazil. In total, I have been engaged with this organization for 31 years, with 18 of those years spent as a dedicated staff member in the Department for World Service. I vividly remember my first attendance at a General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in 1997, held in Hong Kong. The issues we contemplate today are markedly different from those of 1997.
Presently, the world faces escalating polarization in our societies, coupled with the emergence of new anti-rights narratives that challenge the principles underpinning human rights, inclusion, democracy, solidarity, and justice. Ethical and social norms are being reshaped to accommodate ideologies that perpetuate exclusion, prioritize economic systems, and normalize violence as a determinant of societal behavior. Democracy is under threat in many regions, and the convergence of religious, economic, and political fundamentalisms fuels polarization, discrimination, and exclusion in our societies.
The world grapples with a profound moral and ethical crisis, underscoring the crucial role that churches and faith-based organizations play in addressing its root causes. The Lutheran World Federation, a founding member of the ACT Alliance, has evolved significantly since its inception, firmly establishing its presence in multilateral political arenas by championing human dignity and justice, while recognizing the pivotal role of faith communities and local actors.
As ACT Alliance, we recognize the urgency of intensifying our efforts in areas such as climate justice, linking it to the importance of humanitarian preparedness, as well as advancing gender justice and tax justice. As champions of justice, unity, and humanitarian endeavors, we celebrate this opportunity to collaborate in our shared commitment to effecting positive change in the world.
Your integral role within the ACT Alliance amplifies our collective voice for justice, compassion, and transformative action. Together, we can shape a world that truly reflects our shared values.
May our joint endeavors inspire meaningful change and pave the way for a brighter future for all. I extend my best wishes for a successful and productive Assembly.