Photo: Mihaly Tominec
Press Release No: 11/23
24 July 2023
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) joined churches and ecumenical organisations from across the globe at the Ukraine Future Conference. Inspired by the Christian vision, the conference expressed hope for Ukraine’s future, where peace with justice is possible.
The event was held from 14 to 17 July in Budapest, organised by CEC Member Churches, the Reformed Church in Hungary and the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia, Ukraine.
CEC Programme Officer Katerina Pekridou spoke about CEC initiative Pathways to Peace, which was developed by the European church fellowship since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The aim of Pathways to Peace is to maximise European churches’ response to war against Ukraine and engage in dialogue with the European institutions,” said Pekridou. “We facilitate exchange among church leaders, intellectuals, and academics in preparation for a durable just peace.”
“The initiative also advocates for the protection of destroyed religious sites in Ukraine,” she added.
“The future of Europe is connected to the future of Ukraine,” said Bishop Sándor Zán Fábián of the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia. Reflecting on the future of Ukraine, he emphasised the individual and collective role of Christians, who believe in Christ the saviour. “The future of Ukraine may be difficult, burdened with suffering and persecution, but it is promising because of our hope in Jesus, who defeated death, and made a promise to those who believe in him.”
There will be a better tomorrow
“A church that works towards reconciliation is a church that lives hope.” Rev. Najla Kassab, President of the World Communion of Reformed Churches shared a message rooted in biblical premise. She said that as “Church we are challenged to live the ministry of reconciliation entrusted to us.”
“When we discover meaning in the way we live, then we see hope in the middle of our struggle. In living Jesus’ story, values and love, we start to see the glory that Jesus promised. We are not locked in the tomb of our suffering. Instead we believe there will be a better tomorrow,” she added.
The conference featured various perspectives from partner churches and organisations, who have been offering financial and spiritual support to the Ukrainian people and churches.
In a special service, participants of the conference prayed together with the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia for the future of Ukraine. The service also gathered members of the local community, including youth, elderly, all the presbyters of the church and choirs.
Participants of the conference visited Nagydobrony, Ukraine, where they were introduced to the diaconal work of the Reformed Transcarpathian Church for internally displaced families, including a school and shelter for children and ministries, supporting Roma and other families in need.
The participants also learnt about the Diaconical Center in Berehove, which provides shelter and care for the elderly and persons with disabilities, including a social kitchen, bakery, a home for children and women in crisis situations, as well as an emergency centre for refugees, an ambulance service, and a voluntary fire department among other services.
Watch here video produced by the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia, Ukraine
For more information or an interview, please contact:
Conference of European Churches
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Tel. +32 486 75 82 36
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