Dec. 10, 2018

Oslo prays for peace , in week of peace prize ceremony .

People from all walks of life gathered in the Trinity Church in Oslo. Photo: Bergens Tidende/Bard Boe

10 December 2018

Hundreds gathered in the Trinity Church in Oslo, Norway on 9 December for an ecumenical prayer for peace, in connection with the annual Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

Convened by the Christian Council of Norway and Church of Norway, the service saw participation by people from all walks of life, including many international guests, and featured lively dance and music, as well as a candlelight ceremony.

“It is deeply meaningful to gather in prayers for peace in connection with the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony… But it is always with an undertone of sorrow that we mark these prizes. Because they also confirm that the world remains a place of war and conflict,” said Church of Norway’s presiding bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien in her sermon.

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Nadia Murad and to Dr Denis Mukwege for their work against “sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”, recognized by WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit ( as “a genuine contribution to peace for those who need it the most”.

Fiffi Mukwege Namugunga, Denis Mukwege’s sister, attended the service in Oslo, saying to those gathered, ”Only a brave voice can make a difference for these girls. If we raise our voices together here in Oslo, and fight for these girls and against this violence, we can make a big difference.”

Haugland Byfuglien said, ”We rejoice with those who have now been awarded such a well-deserved prize. And we also rejoice with those who have supported their work…”.

”The two, Mukwege and Murad, as well all those others, are carriers of hope of a future for all those who have met love and a glimpse of hope through their work, and who have found hope of a better future,” Haugland Byfuglien said.