World Council of Churches Office of Communication
Press Release
150 route de Ferney, P.O. Box 2100, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
E-mail: media

07 April 1999


A former president of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 1991-1998, Dr Aaron Tolen, died today at Yaoundé, Cameroon, at the age of 61 years. Tolen was a member of the Evangelical Church of Cameroon. By profession a political scientist and Africanist, he was Executive Secretary of the Department of Church Development and Evangelical Mission in Cameroon.

Tolen’s life was closely linked to the ecumenical movement. From 1966-69 he was the permanent representative of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) to UNESCO and later, until 1974, WSCF’s African and Madagascar Regional Secretary.

Between 1969 and 1975 he served on the WCC Commission on the Churches’ Participation in Development and on the Executive Committee of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs. In 1983 Tolen became a member of the WCC Executive Committee, and from 1991-1998 he was the Moderator of the Public Issues Committee.

For more information contact:
Karin Achtelstetter, Media Relations Officer
tel.: (+41 22) 791 6152 (office);
e-mail: media
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The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 336, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.