UN secretary-general praises evangelicals' work with refugees

The head of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has praised the secretary-general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, for his 'careful and measured response' to the global issues of war and famine that have faced him during his first two years in office.

WEA secretary general Bishop Efraim Tendero met Guterres at the UN headquarters in New York to talk about their shared concern for human rights, religious liberty and social issues.

Bishop Ephraim Tendero and UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.

Welcoming Tendero and the WEA delegation Guterres expressed his appreciation for WEA and acknowledged the role evangelicals play in serving the needs of refugees coming to Europe.

Tendero said Guterres has often provided the world with a careful and measured response to the global issues he has faced, bringing to the many players a thoughtful plan to override our human propensity to violence.

He spoke of his own experience in the Philippines when at a critical moment in Mindanao, he challenged the parties, both the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, to 'try peace instead'. He said that as a global body of evangelical Christians 'we affirm our commitment to inter-faith dialogue and peace building'. 'After all, Jesus provides not only the model of peace, but by his very presence and power, induces in the hearts of us an inclination to follow him and not our own self-interest.'

He also spoke of WEA's concern for Christians whose rights are being violated and how WEA's Religious Liberty Commission responds to such issues. Tendero also outlined the work of WEA's Human Trafficking Task Force and its collaboration with both Christian and civil society groups, especially in countries where young people are trapped by modern forms of slavery, such as prostitution.

He outlined plans for the forthcoming Jesus Global Youth Day, in August 2019 in Manila, scheduled to coincide with the UN's International Youth Day. He said those gathered will be mobilised to adopt certain agenda items of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).