Christian Krause (1940 - )
The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in
Profile of Christian Krause
Bishop Emeritus Dr Christian Krause was born on 6 January 1940 in Dallgow-Döbeitz, Brandenburg, Germany. He attended his primary and high school in Göttigen. He did his theological studies at the University of Marburg, Heidelberg and Göttigen. He received a Fulbright Research Scholarship at the McCornick Theological Seminary in Chicago, United States.
In 1968, Krause was ordained as pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover with the Lutheran congregation in Geneva, Switzerland.
Between 1971 and 1972, Krause served at the Headquarters of the then Tanganyika Christian Refugee Services in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Since then, he had been directly and personally involved in activities that resulted in the liberation of countries in Southern Africa in particular. He maintained close co-operation with liberation movements such as Frelimo (humanitarian aid to refugees within the liberated areas of northern Mozambique), Swapo and the African National Congress in Lusaka, Angola, and participated in setting up the camp in Morogoro, Tanzania, where he was involved in the urban refugee pastoral care in co-operation with the ANC and Zambia.
During the years of the struggle for liberation in South Africa as general secretary of the Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag (The Protestant Lay Movement) Bishop Emeritus Krause was involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Germany, including organising boycotts of business and banks supporting the apartheid regime.
In 2001 President Johannes Rau of Germany conferred the Starred Cross of Merit (one of the highest merit awards of the Federal Republic of Germany) on Bishop Krause that commended him for his outstanding contribution to the church and to the worldwide ecumenical movement, particularly as president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
In his commendation, Rau recalled the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification between the LWF and the Roman Catholic Church, signed in Augsburg, Germany, on 31 October 1999.
Bishop Emeritus Dr Christian Krause understood the sinful nature of apartheid, racism and inequalities within the context of Christianity, which principles he lived out and exemplified. He boldly put his beliefs at the service of freedom, justice and democracy for the downtrodden.