Ljubljana – Former head of the Slovenian Evangelical Lutheran Church Geza Erniša has died aged 70 after being hospitalised due to illness, online portal Vestnik reports on Wednesday. He was the first bishop of the church in Slovenia, having held the post for 18 years until 2013.
Erniša was born in 1952 in Tešanovci in the municipality of Moravske Topice in the north-east of the country. In 1995, he was one of the founders of the Council of Christian Churches in Europe, and in 2008 he was elected to the council of the Lutheran World Federation.
He was succeeded as head of the Slovenian Evangelical Lutheran Church by Geza Filo in 2013 after which he received the title of honorary bishop of the Slovenian Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The same year President Borut Pahor honoured him with the Silver Order of Merit for his tolerance-focused leadership.
Until his illness, he served as priest in Moravske Toplice, reports Vestnik, a regional portal.
The news of his death was confirmed by the current head of the Slovenian Evangelical Lutheran Church Leon Novak.