Ulf Ekman
Ulf Ekman

Pastor?Ulf?Ekman,? founder of a 3,300-member megachurch in one of Sweden’s largest cities announced on Sunday, March 9 his decision to leave his charismatic congregation and join the Roman Catholic Church.

Ulf Ekman, who pioneered the Word of Faith movement in Sweden when he founded Word of Life Ministries and Word of Life Church, is also the?founder of Scandinavia’s largest Bible school. The school has graduated more than 9,500 students.

He was?ordained a minister in the Swedish Lutheran Church in 1979 before leaving the denomination to found Word of Faith Church in Uppsala in 1983 A statement on the Pastor’s website reads:

During our last Sunday service, pastor Ulf Ekman shared the news that he and his wife Birgitta will ba accepted into the Catholic Church.

A process of many years of prayer and reflection led to this decision. During the last ten years, Ulf and Birgitta have had contact with catholics and catholic faith, mostly internationally but also in Sweden. This has made them reflect more on the catholic faith and on the spiritual life they have seen in their catholic brothers and sisters.

– For Birgitta and me, this has been a slow process were we have gone from discovering new things, to appreciating what we have discovered, to approach and even learn from our fellow Christians, Ulf Ekman says.

– We have seen a great love for Jesus and a sound theology, founded on the Bible and classic dogma. We have experienced the richness of sacramental life. We have seen the logic in having a solid structure for priesthood, that keeps the faith of the church and passes it on from one generation to the next. We have met an ethical and moral strength and consistency that dare to face up to the general opinion, and a kindness towards the poor and the weak. And, last but not least, we have come in contact with representatives for millions of charismatic Catholics and we have seen their living faith, Ulf Ekman explains.

– All this has been both attractive and challenging. It really challenged our protestant prejudices, and we realized that we in many cases did not have any basis for our criticism of them. We needed to know the Catholic faith better. This led us to the realize that it was actually Jesus Christ who led us to unite with the Catholic Church, Ulf Ekman says. Ulf and Birgitta Ekman emphazises that this is about a personal journey.

– It has not been our agenda to lead Word of Life in this direction, or to collectively unite the church with the Catholic Church. That would be unreasonable. In his speech to the church this Sunday, Ulf Ekman stressed that this step was not going from something, but more importantly going towards something else.

– We love the church that we have been a part of building and serving for the last thirty years, and we could never be anything but grateful for the time we have had together, but we have felt a clear calling from the Lord to take this new step. Now, when we do so, we are convinced that the Word of Life church is in good hands and will keep prospering and bear fruit in it?s on vision.