In this book, the Conference of European Churches endeavours to look at the phenomenon of ‘populism’ from different angles and perspectives and shine a light on its links to religion and religious actors. It wants to offer its Member Churches and partners information about and arguments against the populist temptation. It also wants to highlight and draw attention to the many ways in which religious communities are already part of a wider alliance to combat the populist threat. The Conference of European Churches stands firmly in sharing and fostering the European dream of freedom and equality, and dignity for all and everyone.
The text summarizes work of the thematic group on Economic and Ecological Justice and Sustainable Future of the Conference of European Churches. The group consists of theologians, experts in ecological and political science, as well as activists from churches across the continent. Caring for God’s creation is an integral part of the calling of the churches. In this publication the Conference of European Churches is asking how this can be done? The book offers a summary of studies and discussions among theologians from churches of different confessional families. A first theological section underlies key aspects of several theological traditions. In a second section, we learn about the European Green Deal aiming to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy with no net greenhouse gases emissions by 2050. The text supports the main aim of the Green Deal, however, raises concerns related to some of its principal parts.
Places of Worship and Holy Sites in Europe and the Middle East
Worship places – churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, shrines and many others – are a key feature in most religions, a part of cultural heritage with a high symbolic and emotional value attached to them. Unfortunately, as a consequence of armed conflict or actions by radical nationalists, worship places are often targeted to inflict damage and eradicate identity. For this reason, national and international laws exist to award special protection to such places. This collection of essays explores the relevance the protection of religious sites has in implementing the freedom of religion or belief and in fostering peaceful relations among different religions.
Human Rights, Religious Freedom and Faces of Faith
Human Rights, Religious Freedom and Faces of Faith is part of the ongoing work done by the Conference of European Churches to advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights at the highest standards inside Europe and beyond its borders. The book offers a general introduction to freedom of religion or belief in a European setting and the rights of religious minorities. The book also provides examples of the situation with regard to freedom of religion or belief within Europe and outside of Europe. Furthermore, the book highlights some other topical human rights issues from a theological and legal perspective.
Religious Diversity in Europe and the Rights of Religious Minorities
In October 2016, the Conference of European Churches brought together in Zagreb (Croatia) dozens of experts to discuss the challenges facing minority churches, and religious minorities in general. The European landscape presents many difficulties for these communities. Some struggle with obtaining legal status, some are subject to discrimination, exclusion or even open hostility. Widespread prejudices, destruction or confiscation of property, and barriers to religious rituals and ceremonies make daily life difficult for many communities across the continent. CEC, and the participants gathered at the Zagreb conference, are convinced that minorities bring value to societies, and that deeper religious literacy, enhanced understanding, and fostering dialogue will contribute to their flourishing. This volume contains their contributions to these discussions with a hope that it will contribute to healthy, diverse societies throughout Europe.
Beyond Prosperity? European Economic Governance as a Dialogue between Theology, Economics and Politics
The coexistence and mutual influence of politics and the economy is an everyday reality in modern societies. A Christian perspective on this relationship speaks to the inseparability of ethics and economy, and also to the necessity of dialogue between theology and politics. Engagement in these issues is an important public role and responsibility for churches and Christian theology. The public role of religion in Europe in this current context includes highlighting the core values of Christianity. Of special import in this regard are justice and freedom, how they are exercised in life, and a focus on other values that have undergirded the European project since its beginning. This text turns its attention to a robust theological discussion of these ideas and the challenges facing the flourishing of these values in Europe. It is a unique ecumenical, European contribution to the wider discussion on the complex intersection of theology, ethics, politics, and the economy.
Issues relating to freedom of religion or belief affect all people in all societies, and require coordinated political, legal, and theological responses. In September 2015 at the shuttered Theological School of Halki —human rights experts, scholars, policymakers, and theologians came together to advance this important dialogue and share best practices. Together the contributions from this conference gathered here give a contemporary and interdisciplinary perspective on this critical human rights issue. This collection of essays is indispensable reading for all those interested in the future of faith in an increasingly multicultural and multireligious Europe.
Europe's Heart and Soul. Jacques Delors' Appeal to the Churches
Jacques Delors speaking as the European Commission's President in 1990, made the historic appeal to the churches to contribute to giving Europe "a heart and a soul". His appeal signaled a new phase in the dialogue between the churches and the European institutions. This publication explains what Delors had in mind. Europe should be more than a market, its future should be based on recovering solidarity in society and on a shared "sense of belonging" to a wider community. The search for a new "meaning" for Europe was a moral and spiritual challenge. Today, the "heart and a soul" appeal still stands. Europe is not only about economics, it is also about values and culture. However, today's context is that of a European Union facing a deep internal crisis. A "sense of belonging" and dialogue with each other are more necessary than ever. In a world of growing instability, the churches can play an important role in reminding the European Union of its original raison d'être of solidarity, peace and reconciliation.
The European Vision and the Churches: The Legacy of Marc Lender
This is a book about centres: the centre of a pastor's lifelong ministry, the centre of the European Union, and the centre of Europe's ecumenical community. For more than thirty years Pastor Marc Lenders lived out his vocation bringing Christians from across traditions and across Europe into deep relationship with their unique social, cultural, and political context. Through his eyes discover how Marc Lenders courageously signed up for a job in 1966 that had no description and upon his retirement in 1999 left a growing and vibrant legacy of dialogue, debate, and engagement between the churches of Europe and the political institutions that represent its people.