“We listened to Ukrainian voices. We analysed. We prayed together. We cried together. We activated our European fellowship of mutual encouragement,” said CEC General Secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen speaking at the EPP Working Group Intercultural and Religious Dialogue. He highlighted the response of European churches following the war in Ukraine.
The EPP event was held from 9 to 10 December 2022 in Vienna.
“Since the break of the war and through some of the contacts established during our virtual gathering in February, CEC has kept a close link to churches in Ukraine,” shared Sørensen.
“CEC conducted solidarity visits, organised prayers and highlighted among decision makers and civil servants in Brussels, the role and position of churches in the war. Most recently, our Governing Board has decided to focus on projects relating to justice, peace and reconciliation in Ukraine and beyond.”
The CEC General Secretary also shared about CEC’s cooperation with its European Catholic partners including the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU, with which CEC engages over dialogue related to EU presidencies, highlighting crucial issues in a Christian voice.
He went on to say that “just about every member church of CEC has shared in receiving and accommodating refugees, fleeing from death and destruction. A massive task undertaken by primarily local churches and individual congregations.”
The EPP event was opened by Othmar Karas MEP, First Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for implementation of Article 17 TFEU Dialogue with churches, religious associations or communities, philosophical and non-confessional organisations, Jan Olbrycht MEP, Vice-Chairman and Chief Whip of the EPP Group in the EP and Co-Chairman of the EPP Working Group on Intercultural Relations and Interreligious Dialogue, and György HölvényI MEP, Co-Chairman of the EPP Working Group on Intercultural Relations and Interreligious Dialogue.
The event discussed reaction of churches and religious communities to war, conflict and their contribution in shaping the evolution of the European Union.
Interventions from representatives of diverse communities discussed influence of churches and religions on social and political process.