Churches around the world say, “this is a time to touch each other’s hearts”

26 March, 2020

Press Release No: 20/07
26 March 2020

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The heads of ecumenical organisations from all global regions have come together to say, “this is a time for pastoral, prophetic and practical Christianity” amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) as part of the Regional Ecumenical Organisations (REOs) together with the World Council of Churches (WCC) has issued a joint statement on 26 March.

“We urge people everywhere to give highest priority to addressing this situation and assisting in whatever ways we can in our collective efforts to protect life. This is a time to touch each other’s hearts, by what we say, share, and do,” say the heads of REOs.

“Religious communities are warned against gathering in large groups and worshipping. As regional church bodies, we stress in a united voice that we must follow instructions from our local authorises to fight this pandemic,” said CEC General Secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen.

“While we continue to affirm the importance of prayers, finding new ways of engaging in spiritual life online, we also offer our prayers for the decision makers that are left with painful decisions in what is often chaotic situations – they all need our spiritual support,” he added.

The joint statement highlights the important and urgency of adapting modes of worship and fellowship to the needs of this time of pandemic infection.

“This is an opportune time for the churches all over the world to review their role in society by safely ministering to, providing for, and caring for the poor, the sick, the marginalized, and the aged –all those who are most at risk due to COVID-19,” reads the statement.

The heads of REOs state that “as a global community of faith, we affirm that, even in the midst of our vulnerability, we trust in God, as God is our hope.”

They recognise the need for responsible leadership by the state, communities, and faith leaders. “Governments at all levels must ensure access to correct and timely information, address the situations due to loss of livelihood and employment, especially to provide access to clean water and sanitizers and soap, to safe shelter, and to compassionate care for the most vulnerable.”

Read full statement "A Time for Pastoral, Prophetic and Practical Christianity: A Joint Statement from the World Council of Churches and Regional Ecumenical Organizations".

Learn more about the Regional Ecumenical Organizations

CEC resources on COVID-19

WCC landing page: Coping with the Coronavirus


For more information or an interview, please contact:

Naveen Qayyum
Communication Officer
Conference of European Churches
Rue Joseph II, 174 B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 234 68 42
Twitter: @ceceurope

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