Ring for Peace Foundation Councilor Gunnar Stålsett receives Federal Cross of Merit from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Ring for Peace Foundation Councilor Gunnar Stålsett receives Order of Merit from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Gunnar Stålsett, former Evangelical Lutheran Bishop of Oslo, was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Friday. Stålsett is Honorary President ofReligions for Peace and a member of the board of trustees of the Lindau Foundation Peace Dialogue of World Religions and Civil Society. The award ceremony took place on Friday in Oslo during a state visit of the German President to Norway.
In his address, President Steinmeier recalled his first meeting with Gunnar Stålsett in 2019, when the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace was held in Lindau. There, Steinmeier said, “I personally experienced the passion with which you stand up for the idea of the responsibility of the world’s religions for peace. For the conviction that religions must no longer be a cause of strife and war, but that, on the contrary, they can – and must – be instruments of peace.” Stålsett, he said, was committed to his faith with such consistency that he would even have been willing to go to prison for it. “In your many years of work, you have not only achieved a great deal, but have also provided orientation and set an example for countless people,” Steinmeier praised.
„As a Christian, I see the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a catechism for our time, a handbook for religions and societies, for all people of good will. As much spiritual as political. It helps us to practice mercy on a daily basis.”
Gunnar Stålsett expressed his gratitude for the award and emphasized that he was proud to receive it from Steinmeier’s hand. He, too, recalled the 10-World Assembly – namely Steinmeier’s opening speech: “Your appeal has helped to strengthen cooperation between people of different religions and to establish Lindau as a center for peace dialogue between the world’s religions, civil society and diplomacy.”
According to Stålsett, the great questions facing humanity today are not philosophical, but practical: climate and pandemic, equality and children’s rights, asylum and integration, banning nuclear weapons and disarmament. “It’s about courage for concrete action,” said the former bishop of the Oslo diocese. “As a Christian, I see the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a catechism for our time, a handbook for religions and societies, for all people of good will. As much spiritual as political. It helps us to practice mercy on a daily basis.”
Wolfgang Schürer, board member of the Foundation for Peace Dialogue of World Religions and Civil Society, congratulated Gunnar Stålsett on Friday and thanked him for his worldwide commitment to human rights and climate protection. This, he said, gives hope to the next generation. “With this award, the German president also recognizes the Lindau initiatives inspired by Bishop Stålsett’s efforts,” Schürer said.
In addition to Gunnar Stålsett, Norwegian singer Wencke Myrhe was also awarded the Federal Cross of Merit. Steinmeier told them both: “You make our societies and our world more livable. And you have filled the German-Norwegian friendship with life and with dreams and enriched it.”
Gunnar Johan Stålsett was born on February 10, 1935, in Kjelvik, Norway. From October 1972 to October 1973, he worked as a state secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Church, Education and Culture. From 1998 to 2005 he was bishop of the Oslo diocese. He also served on the Nobel Committee for the award of the Nobel Peace Prize (from 1985 to 1990 and from 1994 to 2002 and again since 2012). Stålsett is one of 32 honorary presidents at Religions for Peace and a trustee of the Foundation for Peace Dialogue of World Religions and Civil Society in Lindau.
The Lindau Peace Talks will be streamed live and to the public on Thursday, July 7, at 1 pm in German language. It will be released with English subtitles afterwards. The first Peace Talk will focus on peace diplomacy in Ukraine and will be moderated by Evelyn Finger (Die Zeit).
We are excited to announce that a German publisher used in one of its schoolbooks two texts that have been written in 2019 for a newspaper supplement commissioned by Ring for Peace accompanying the 10th World Assembly. The first text is from journalist Mareike Enghusen titled “Deeply Anchored Common Values” and the second one is from Rabbi David Rosen titled “Fighting Extremism and Fostering Peace“.
Gunnar Stålsett, former Evangelical Lutheran Bishop of Oslo, was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Friday. Stålsett is Honorary President of Religions for Peace and a member of the board of trustees of the Lindau Foundation Peace Dialogue of World Religions and Civil Society. Congratulations.
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Today, November 25th, the world commemorates discrimination and violence against women and girls. The Lindauer Stiftung Friedensdialog der Weltreligionen und Zivilgesellschaft, Ring for Peace, is permanently launching very concrete projects to remedy this situation. Learn more about the ongoing efforts of our foundation.
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