WCC mourns the death of Toshitsugu Arai
The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed sadness over the death of the Rev. Dr Toshitsugu Arai, a renowned Asian ecumenical leader and former staff member of the WCC and the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA).
Arai passed away on January 16 at the age of 80 in Japan.
Along with being an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ), Arai served as secretary of Lay Academies of the WCC’s sub-unit on Renewal and Congregational Life from 1984 to 1991.
Arai was “known for his pastoral care, collegiality, spirituality and ecumenical commitment”, said Tveit in his condolence message to the UCCJ. “He led a principled life devoted to promote ecumenism, peace building, interfaith relations and ecumenical leadership development,” Tveit added.
Arai worked as director of the Nippon Christian Academy in Japan and executive secretary for the CCA’s ecumenical education program, as well as in the capacity of its associate general secretary in the 1990s.
He was author of several publications in English and Japanese on the subject of churches and education in Asia.
Arai’s funeral will take place on January 19 at the Kyodan Church, Kawasaki City in Japan.