Keynote speaker at LWF Assembly awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Dr. Denis Mukwege delivers an intense and moving keynote speech at the Lutheran World Federation's Twelfth Assembly. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

Recognition for efforts to end use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has congratulated physician Dr Denis Mukwege who with human rights activist Nadia Murad has received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018. In a letter to Dr Mukwege, LWF President Panti Filibus Musa and LWF General Secretary Martin Junge offer congratulations for this well-deserved recognition.

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 is awarded to Dr Mukwege and Ms Nurad "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict." Through their work and witness on sexual violence they have "helped to give greater visibility to war-time sexual violence, so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions," the Norwegian Nobel Committee writes.

Keynote speaker at Twelfth Assembly

Dr Mukwege was the keynote speaker of the Twelfth Assembly of the LWF in Windhoek, Namibia. Speaking on the theme "Liberated by God's Grace" which he connected to his work against gender based violence, he told Lutherans from around the world:

"Lutheran theology, especially as regards women's place in society, is a message of hope for all the women in the world who are victims of violence, whether moral, physical or sexual.

It is up to us, the heirs of Martin Luther, through God's word, to exorcise all the macho demons possessing the world so that women who are victims of male barbarity can experience the reign of God in their lives."

In his work Dr. Mukwege has provided leadership for Africa and the world, standing up for the dignity and rights of people, in particular women who are survivors of sexual violence in conflict situations. He told the Assembly that the women he had worked with were heroes and an inspiration and called on the churches to stand "alongside the weak, the wounded, the refugees and women suffering discrimination. If we are Christ’s, we must speak out, we must condemn evil."

“A great encouragement”

In a letter to Dr Mukwege, LWF President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa and LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge congratulate him on the award and thank him for his work on ending the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

"We congratulate you wholeheartedly for this well-deserved recognition."

Offering gratitude for his participation and speech at the Twelfth Assembly of the LWF, they write that his words were "a great encouragement to continue working toward a reality where women and men can flourish as they live in just relationships that strive to overcome violence” and express their hope for continued collaboration towards that goal.