Methodists, Religious Leaders Pay Tribute to Mandela

Date Posted: 12/7/2013

As the world learned of the passing of Nelson Mandela, United Methodists and other faith leaders offered tributes to the revered South African leader.


The statesman, who died Dec. 5 at the age of 95, had many connections to Methodism throughout his life and also publicly acknowledged the contribution of religious leaders in the struggle against apartheid. His widow, Graça Machel, is a United Methodist from Mozambique.


Mandela visited the World Council of Churches in Geneva in 1990, soon after his release from prison, and addressed the WCC’s 8th Assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1998 when he was South Africa’s president.


“He will be recalled as the leader who acted to unify a nation once deliberately divided along the lines of race,” said the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, the WCC’s top executive, on Thursday


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