Olav Fykse Tveit to serve another term as world churches' body head

(Photo: WCC / Peter Williams)World Council of Churches general secretary, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, photographed in Geneva, Switzerland on July 2, 2014 during a meeting of the main governing body of the WCC, its Central Committee.

Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit was appointed to a second five-year term as general secretary of the World Council of Churches on July 3, during a meeting of the church body 's main governing body.

The 53-year-old theologian and pastor from the (Lutheran) Church of Norway has served as WCC general secretary since January 2010.

Tveit called his appointment a "great privilege" and a "continuation of a meaningful journey," the WCC said in a statement from Geneva.

The WCC's chief executive officer said the last five years have been the "most blessed years, offering opportunities, challenges and accomplishments in his work with the churches."

"This decision is heartening. I feel grateful and motivated," he said.

"A shared faith in what the WCC can accomplish in its quest for Christian unity, justice and peace in the world, a concern that lies at the heart of the ecumenical movement, is immensely inspiring for me as I continue working with the churches."

WCC Central Committee moderator Agnes Abuom said, "We look forward with a high degree of confidence to the next five years of working together with Rev. Olav and all the WCC staff."

The WCC said Tveit has played an active role in the past two decades in strengthening global church relations, while contributing to churches' work for justice and peace.

Before being appointed as the WCC general secretary, Tveit served as general secretary of the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations.

Tveit served as an army chaplain during his compulsory year of national service in 1987-88.

He was also a member of the WCC's Faith and Order Plenary Commission and also the board of directors and executive committee of the Christian Council of Norway.

The WCC represents some 560 million Christians from mainly Anglican, Orthodox and Protestant traditions, serving 345 churches from around the world and it strives for Christian unity.

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