Indian climate justice activist to speak at Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration in Sweden

LWF climate justice advocate Sunemia Pranita Biswasi looks forward to witnessing an important step for Lutherans and Catholics. Photo: LWF/Ryan Rodrick Beiler

Pranita Biswasi seeks solidarity across generations for the sake of the planet

(LWI) - Indian climate justice activist Sunemia Pranita Biswasi will be one of the speakers at the first-ever Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation, taking place in Sweden on 31 October.

The 26-year-old environmentalist and youth leader in the Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church will join other advocates from around the world giving testimonies in the Malmö Arena. The arena will stage activities focusing on the commitment of Catholics and Lutherans to common witness and service globally.

“This commemoration marks such an important step for Lutherans and Catholics as they serve the broken world on their common journey toward unity. I am honored to be participating and highlighting the climate crisis which affects millions of people in my region and other parts of the world,” Biswasi said, prior to traveling to Sweden.

“We must continue to reconcile our differences for the sake of justice and sustainability of the planet God gave us,” she added.

Biswasi is a member of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) all-youth delegation to the United Nations climate conferences in various world capitals over the past years, and as such witnessed negotiations that produced the landmark Paris agreement in December 2015. In India’s Odisha State, she works with other youth in climate projects on ecological and social justice issues.

Other speakers at the Malmö Arena will include Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, Syria; South Sudan’s Olympic athlete Rose Nathike Lokonyen, currently a refugee in Kenya; Colombian peace activist Fr. Héctor Fabio Henao; and Burundian humanitarian worker Marguerite Barankitse.

Pope Francis jointly with LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan and General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge will lead the Prayer Service in Lund Cathedral and the arena activities. The two-part event will highlight the deepening ecumenical relations between Lutherans and Catholics after nearly 50 years of international dialogue, leading up to the commemoration of 500 years of the Reformation in 2017.