World Council of Churches to seek new chief after Kobia declines second term

Sudden criticism of the general secretary
The World Council of Churches, suddenly faced with criticisms of its general secretary, Samuel Kobia, who decided not to seek another five-year term, is searching for a new executive to take over the world’s largest ecumenical body next year.

Kobia, a Methodist minister from Kenya, announced his decision February 18 after a closed-door meeting lasting nearly nine hours at the WCC central committee meeting in Geneva. The eight-day conference ended February 20.

Kobia did not publicly explain his “personal reasons” for not seeking a second term. The decision, however, followed some strongly critical comments about the direction of the WCC from German Protestant bishop Martin Hein of Kassel in an interview with EPD, the German Protestant news agency.


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