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National Council of Churches' Oscar Bolioli
Will Head Evangelical Methodist Church of Uruguay

     July 24, 2002, Montevideo, Uruguay -- The Evangelical Methodist Church of Uruguay has chosen the Rev. Oscar Bolioli of the National Council of Churches staff in New York City as its new President. Bolioli, a native of Uruguay, currently serves as the NCC's Associate General Secretary for International Relations. He will phase in his new responsibilities over the next six months to allow him to complete several NCC projects in Central America and Asia.

     This is Bolioli's second time to serve the Uruguayan church as its President, a role equivalent to a bishop in other denominational structures. He first held the post from 1974 to 1979, during the reign of the military government, and led the church to adopt a clear position in defense of political prisoners and human rights.

     "We celebrate this affirmation of Oscar Bolioli's ministry," said NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar, "and we congratulate the Methodists of Uruguay for recognizing his great skills and experience. He will prove to be a wise and effective leader of this historic Christian communion as it renews itself through expanded service to the people of Uruguay and beyond."

     Bolioi served for 18 years as director of the Latin America and Caribbean Department of the NCC and its humanitarian agency, Church World Service, before assuming his current role as Associate General Secretary. He also was Director of the Youth Department of the World Council of Churches in Geneva.

     The Evangelical Methodist Church of Uruguay is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. It is one of the oldest Protestant movements in Latin America, and played an instrumental role in the development of Methodist work in neighboring Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.


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