Bonner Querschnitte 07/2024 Ausgabe 784 (eng)


WEA Secretary General Thomas Paul Schirrmacher resigns due to health


(Bonn, 08.04.2024) The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) announced the resignation of its Secretary General Bishop Dr. Thomas Paul Schirrmacher as of March 31, 2024, for health reasons.

Photo: Bischop Thomas Paul Schirrmacher, 2019 © BQ/Martin Warnecke In a statement released on last Monday, the WEA International Council, which is the governing body of the organization that represents some 600 million evangelicals in 143 countries, said that they had unanimously accepted Schirrmacher’s resignation. They acknowledged his months-long struggles with long-Covid, an illness resulting from long-term effects of COVID-19 infection that is “broadly defined as signs, symptoms, and conditions that continue or develop after acute COVID-19 infection,” according to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Chair of the WEA International Council, Rev. Dr. Goodwill Shana, is assuming interim leadership of the organization for a period of up to six months, while the Council evaluates the role of the Office of the Secretary General and conducts a search process for a new Secretary General and CEO.

The statement honored Schirrmacher’s “long productive relationship with the WEA, its national members and commissions,” and highlighted that “his erudite writings reinforcing biblical truth have been an encouragement to many.”

“The International Council of the WEA looks to the prayers and support of the WEA family and friends to navigate the road ahead with God's direction, wisdom and grace,” it added.

Schirrmacher who took over leadership of the WEA in 2021 after having served the WEA in various other capacities for some two decades.

In a statement sent to Christian Daily International, Schirrmacher noted that he had suffered of long-Covid since mid-2022 and he was considering stepping down at the end of that year if there was no improvement. With the disease still little understood, he was undergoing various checks which recently resulted in a proposed cure that would take a full three months of treatment, a period which would be too long of an absence in a CEO role, he said.

He also shared his plans to again focus more strongly on several issues that are close to his heart, including dedicating time for his role as President of the International Institute for Religious Freedom, where he will support the leadership that succeeded him when he became Secretary General of the WEA.

A second major project will be his involvement in the Bonn Abrahamic Center for Global Peace, Justice and Sustainability (BAC), which has its seat opposite of the UN campus in Bonn, the city where he lives.

“Bonn is the seat of the Climate Change Secretariat and the Sustainability Action Center of the United Nations. Our first published appearance will be the upcoming mega conference in Bonn in June 2024,” he said.

The WEA International Council expressed their wish for Schirrmacher to experience “a full and speedy recovery and pray for God’s healing hand upon him to continue his significant global ministry.”

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