New York, NY – December 5, 2013
As South Africans come to terms with the death of their icon and the father of the democratic nation, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) joins the peoples of South Africa and many around the world in mourning their loss.
Nelson Mandela, affectionately known also by his clan name Madiba, was more than an African leader of note: he was an international statesman and a peacemaker, a man who demonstrated the spirit of reconciliation par excellence. He was jailed for his anti-apartheid protests and convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government. But when he was released from prison after 27 years of his productive life, he and those like him, embarked on an extraordinary mission of building a non-racial, non-sexist society that upholds the culture of human rights and embraces universal democratic values.
Rev. Moss Ntlha, General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA) says: “Madiba is considered by many as the father of the nation. He modelled firm confrontation with evil and injustice, and magnanimity in his triumph over those who sought his destruction. His passing calls to mind the prophetic tradition of Micah that says: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)”
Rev. Ndaba Mazabane, a local Pastor and the Chair of WEA, commented: "Mr Mandela was a remarkable man; even in his death, our nation is united in grief and in celebrating his legacy. We may not fully know much about his spiritual life as he tended to keep this side of his life private and personal, but the little he showed us such as the selfless and servant-like attitude will forever remain with us as an example worth emulating."
Mandela played a critical role in inspiring many across the African continent, and indeed the world, to aspire toward a selfless, pro people and compassionate leadership. Leaders in business, the arts, government, churches and civil society have celebrated his life as one of the 21st century’s finest leadership examples.
Rev. Aiah Foday-Khabenje, the General Secretary of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) lamented: "The life of Madiba is yet another proof and reminder about the origin, nature and commonality of the human species; created in the image of God with ability to reflect some of God’s attributes though vainly because of finitude, fallenness with feet of clay; regardless of race or geographical location. Heartfelt condolences to immediate family members and the people of South Africa. May his exemplary leadership inspire African leaders.”
Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary-General of WEA says: "The world has lost a great leader. Nelson Mandela was a model of courage, vision and personal sacrifice. Today more than ever we need this kind of leadership. May the memory of Nelson Mandela inspire a new generation of such leaders around the world.”
WEA calls on all people of goodwill to pray for the Mandela family and the nation of South Africa in their grief and mourning period.
Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving and representing more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to speak as a trusted voice, to equip members and leaders for global impact and to connect its members and others for common action in the furtherance of God’s reign. For more info e-mail at [email protected] or go to Worldea.org.