German Lutheran Church Elects First Woman Leader
The German Lutheran Church elected Margot Kaessmann to be Chairperson, the church's highest position, Wednesday. Kaessmann will be the first woman and the youngest person in history to hold this position.
Kaessman, who has served as a bishop in Hanover for more than ten years, was elected with 132 out of 142 votes, reported Deutsche Welle. In a press conference, she said "There is more that unites us than divides us...[and] although we are not politicians, I will get involved in political and ethical debates as I have done before," according to Ecumenical News International. Reverand Ishmael Noko of the Lutheran World Federation told Ecumenical News International that "the election sends a signal to the church worldwide that God calls us to leadership without consideration of gender, colour or descent."
There are only two other woman who lead large religious groups in the world: National Bishop Susan Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Episcopal Church in the United States. According to Reuters.
Media Resources: Deutsche Welle 10/28/09; Reuters 10/28/09; Ecumenical News International 10/28/09