A symbol of growing witness

Young people from all over Brazil and beyond massed to form the seal of Martin Luther, known as the Luther Rose. Photo: IECLB

Brazilian church hosts 1,500 young people from around the world

(LWI) - “A significant symbol and witness” is how youth leader Rodolfo Fuchs of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil described the participation of hundreds of young people from around the world in the 23rd Youth Congress of the church.

Fuchs was among more than 1,500 young people from 22 Lutheran churches attending the conference, held every two years, and which in 2016 included members of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Global Young Reformers’ Network.

Despite political, geographical or ethnic differences, “we are all created in the image and likeness of God,” he said of the July gathering.

“In times of racial, cultural and ethnic violence, including the crisis behind the forced migration all over the world, we can always proclaim our faith in words and gestures. We believe in God who released his people from slavery, in God who sent his son to give witness to justice and therefore died on the cross to save humanity,” he said

“As Lutheran Christians we proclaim that we are liberated by God's grace and that creation, human beings and salvation are not for sale,” he added, referring to the LWF Twelfth Assembly theme.


During devotion on the first evening, delegates from outside Brazil shared the most pressing challenges in their home countries. Rev. Karin Rubenson, Church of Sweden, prays for refugees coming to Sweden and uses her identity card to symbolize the wish for every human being to have access to basic needs, human rights and safety. Photo: LWF/C. Bader


Latvian Young Reformer and evangelist Gints Graudiņš receives blessings and prayers for his safe return. The IECLB Congress was the first time every LWF member church from Latin America and the Caribbean was represented in a regional youth gathering that also included representatives from each of the seven LWF regions. Photo by LWF/C. Bader


“We live in different places, speak different languages and have different cultures. But those differences indeed enrich us. It was an unforgettable encounter,” says Asian Young Reformer Daniel Sinaga of the Protestant Christian Batak Church in Indonesia, seen here animating a traditional Indonesian dance to the Brazilians. Photo: Fernanda Scherer


A guide from the Laklãnõ/Xokleng tribe explains that the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil has the highest number of animal and plant species in the world. Many indigenous youth have been trained as tour guides who tell visitors about the sustainability and ancient cultures of the now protected rainforest. Photo: LWF/C. Bader


The indigenous Aldeia Bugio reserve in Santa Catarina is a harmonious balance of thousands of animal and plant species. The few inhabitants of the rainforest all come from the Laklãnõ/Xokleng tribe. As they only harvest from trees and plants that regenerate, they sometimes have to wait years before they can reap the produce. The IECLB helps them protect ancient knowledge through its mission work among indigenous people. Photo: LWF/C. Bader