The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed appreciation for Tutu's work, congratulating the Nobel laureate, one-time WCC staff member, and former general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, on receiving the Templeton Prize.
Tutu accepted the award at a ceremony on 21 May held at the London's Guildhall.
The former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu is known for using his position within the church in the 1970s and 1980s to bring an end to the apartheid policies in South Africa. He chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1990s, which helped the country to overcome divisions and make a transition to democracy.
Tutu has advocated for human rights, climate justice and dialogue worldwide. He engaged with the WCC on issues of violence, racism and in promoting Christian unity.
While welcoming the news of Tutu's honour, Tveit expressed admiration for his “longtime commitment for justice and peace”.
“Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a world leader, who brought the Christian values of imago dei, shaped in the image of God, and the African concept of Ubuntu, implying sacredness of the entire humanity, to the forefront of political struggles to liberate people,” said Tveit.
“On behalf of the global church, which has been greatly influenced by the leadership of the archbishop, I express my heartiest congratulations to him on receiving this award,” he added.
The Templeton Prize, established in 1972 by late Sir John Templeton, a global investor and philanthropist, celebrates living people's exceptional contributions to “affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.”