Palestinian Lutheran bishop receives Niwano Peace Prize

Younan received the honor for his work toward interreligious dialogue in Jerusalem and around the world.
August 11, 2017
Nichiko Niwano and Munib Younan
Nichiko Niwano (left) gives the Niwano Peace Prize to Munib Younan. Photo by ELCJHL/Ben Gray.

Munib A. Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, was named the 34th recipient of the Niwano Peace Prize. He accepted the prize with a plea for greater engagement of faith leaders in confronting “the sick ideologies which pervert our religions.”

Nichiko Niwano, honorary president of the Niwano Peace Foundation, presented the award during a ceremony July 27 in Tokyo.

The Niwano Peace Foundation recognized Younan for his work toward interreligious dialogue in Jerusalem and around the world, for his compassion to all sides involved in conflicts, and his long-standing commitment to moderation.

“Moderates are not wishy-washy,” Younan said in his acceptance speech. “If we are going to challenge extremist theologies and the extremist politics they support, we must reclaim the center within our respective traditions.” —Lutheran World Federation