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CEC Commemorates 100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide

Today, 24 April 2015, marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide. Between 1915 and 1922 as many as 1.5 million Armenians were massacred and thousands more displaced from their homeland. One hundred years later, work for recognition and reparation remains.

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European Christian Environmental Network facilitates cooperation on eco-management and dialogue on nuclear energy

In back-to-back gatherings, the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) attempted to bring together diverse Christian perspectives on critical environmental issues.

Click here for an account of ECEN's recent work >>

CEC reacts to Council of Europe decision on bread, bed and bath in Netherlands

On 15 April 2015 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution concerning the collective complaint (No. 90/2013) lodged by the Conference of European Churches against the Netherlands. 

Please click here for the reaction from CEC >>

Churches mourn loss of life on Mediterranean, call for preventative action

Together the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), the Conference of European Churches, and the World Council of Churches grieve the drowning of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean. As many as 700 people are feared dead following the capsizing of their vessel just outside Libyan waters.

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New book from CEC: The European Vision and the Churches: The Legacy of Marc Lenders

The Conference of European Churches is pleased to announce its first publication in collaboration with Globethics.net. The European Vision and the Churches: The Legacy of Marc Lenders is now available online.

Click here to find out how to download or order >>

CEC-CCEE message on the occasion of International Roma Day

The Conference of European Churches and the Council of European Bishops' Conferences issue a statement in advance of International Roma Day, 8 April 2015. The churches recommit themselves to solidarity with Roma people in Europe and working toward right relationship. 

Please click here for more >>

CEC Celebrates life of renowned ecumenist: Rev. Dr Philip Potter 1921-2015

The Rev. Dr Philip Potter, third general secretary of the World Council of Churches, died yesterday at the age of 93. The Conference of European Churches received news of his death with sadness, and mourns this significant loss for the worldwide ecumenical community.

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CEC Governing Board meets, approves 2015-2018 working roadmap

The governing board of the Conference of European Churches met in Brussels on 24 and 25 March. The special meeting was devoted to an in-depth review of CEC programmatic work for 2015 through 2018. 

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Churches grieve Germanwings tragedy

The Conference of European Churches receives with grief the news of a serious plane accident in the French Alps. Earlier today, Germanwings flight 4U 9525 crashed in mountainous southern France while en route to Düsseldorf from Barcelona. Officials fear that all 144 passengers and six crew have been lost.

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World Council of Churches delegation visits Ukraine, CEC President included

From 17 to 20 March a World Council of Churches delegation visited Ukraine. The delegation included high-level representation from churches in the WCC fellowship, including Conference of European Churches President Rt. Rev. Christopher Hill, DD, KCVO.

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CALL Contributes to consultation on Working Time Directive

The CALL (Church Action on Labour and Life) network has participated in a European Commission consultation on the revision of the EU Working Time Directive. Over the last four years, CALL has worked on questions related to precarious work and defining a concept of good work. These reflections enabled CALL to submit an informed response to the questionnaire to the European Commission. The submission was made in German. 

Please click here for a PDF version of the CALL contribution. 

World Day of Prayer: Women across the globe pause for prayer, peace, and solidarity

On this first Friday of March, Christian women from over 170 countries around the world are celebrating the World Day of Prayer. Many CEC member denominations are active in this movement and will host local and regional events in to acknowledge this day.

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Deaths at European Borders: Churches advocate for "Safe Passage"

The Conference of European Churches and the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) enjoy a close working relationship on issues relating to migration. The following press release from the joint CCME-FCEI (Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy) conference in Rome on 23 and 24 February is shared as part of our collaboration.

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Summer School on Human Rights

The Summer School on Human Rights, focusing on Anti-Discrimination legalisation, will take place from 25-29 May 2015 in the premises of Hagaberg folkhögskola, Södertälje, Sweden.  It is organised by the Conference of European Churches, the Church of Sweden and Uniting Church in Sweden.

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Press Release

CEC Condemns Copenhagen Shootings

The Conference of European Churches again grieves the tragic and violent loss of life on European soil. We condemn the Copenhagen shootings that left a reported two civilians dead and five police officers injured, and ended in the death of the alleged shooter.

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Press Release

Ceasefire brokered for Ukraine, CEC prays for lasting peace

The Conference of European Churches, along with many political and religious institutions across Europe, expresses its relief at the announcement of a ceasefire in Ukraine.

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Press Release

Prayers for an end to Human Trafficking

On Sunday 8 February 2015, Roman Catholics around the world will celebrate the first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. Human trafficking has long been a priority area for the Conference of European Churches and we are heartened to see a high profile call for prayer and awareness.

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Press Release

Dialogue, peace building at heart of World Interfaith Harmony Week

During this first week of February, hundreds of local events bring together people from different religious traditions in a shared love of the good and love of neighbour.

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CEC mourns Death of CPCE President Bishop Emeritus Prof. Dr. Friedrich Weber

The Conference of European Churches joins the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE) in grieving the death of their President, Bishop Emeritus Prof. Dr. Friedrich Weber.

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Press Release

Meeting between Latvian EU Presidency & Church Representatives

Churches led wide-ranging discussions with the Latvian Presidency team on religious freedom and tolerance, climate change, migration, security strategy and conflict prevention and EU neighbourhood policy. Within a week of taking on the Presidency of the European Council, the Latvian Minister of Justice, Dzintars Rasnačs, received a delegation of representatives from the Christian churches of Europe to discuss the Latvian Presidency agenda. 

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Press Release

Christians around the world pray for unity

From January 18 to 25 Christians around the world will pray for unity in special celebrations, prayer services, and pulpit exchanges. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, traditionally observed between the fests of St. Peter and St. Paul, is an annual worldwide observance dedicated to overcoming divisions and building a spirit of unity throughout the church.

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Press Release

CEC Condemns Paris Shootings

The Conference of European Churches condemns today’s deadly attacks on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The shootings have left a reported 12 people dead and another four seriously injured.

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Press Release

Churches meet with Italian EU Presidency

In the closing days of the Italian EU Presidency, Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentilioni met with a joint delegation of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) on 18 December in Rome. Delegates present at the meeting urged the presidency for concrete action on youth unemployment, migration, and freedom of religion and belief.

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The 20th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ended last week in Lima, Peru. While United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed the Lima talks as paving meaningful way to COP 21 in Paris, the Conference of European Churches expresses deep ambiguity and frustration with the Lima outcomes.

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In five days of meetings, public events, and celebrations the Conference of European Churches marked a turning point in its history. The governing bodies of the Church and Society Commission (CSC) met on 2 and 3 December in Leuven, Belgium to legally finalise its merger with the Conference of European Churches under Belgian law. The CEC Governing Board meetings followed in Leuven on 5 and 6 December.

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Press Release

Statement on the Persecution of Religious Minorities in the Middle East

In advance of observance of International Human Rights Day on 10 December, the Governing Board of the Conference of European Churches has adopted this statement on the persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East. What follows is a call for an end to the violence, increased humanitarian aid, and increased international support for persecuted and displaced persons.

Human trafficking: Churches call on the EU for action on a wider front

COMECE-CEC Dialogue Seminar on Human trafficking

 

An estimated 800,000 women, men, and children are victims of human trafficking within the EU today. Up to 60% of the victims originate from EU states. The EU and its member states urgently need to implement the legal framework already in place and to intensify cooperation with civil society and church organisations that work with victims at the grassroots level. 

CEC Presence at Pope Francis's visit

A historic moment in Strasbourg! CEC had the honour to be invited by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr. Torbjorn Jagland, and was represented by Richard Fischer, Executive Secretary, to hear Pope Francis.

The Pope addressed both the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. In both speeches, he insisted on values and priorities close to CEC’s heart and work, including: the crucial importance of education and intercultural dialogue; human rights that link the individual to a culture of the common good, and religious freedom; rights of European citizens combined with welcoming migrants; and science and technology in service of ecology.

The Pope called for a Europe which “revolves not around the economy, but around the sacredness of the human person, around inalienable values”, for a Europe that “rediscovers that youthfulness of spirit which has made it fruitful and great, and a precious point of reference for humanity!”

Click here for a copy of Pope Francis's speech European Parliament (English). 

Click here for a copy of Pope Francis's speech at the Council of Europe (English). 

Press Release

Digital Churches? Challenges in proclaiming the Gospel today

 

The CEC-CCEE Joint Committee annual meeting took place from 17 to 19 November in Hannover at the invitation of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD).

 

Participants gathered to discuss the theme Communication of the Gospel in Today’s Europe. Different speeches were given on three main sub themes: the communication in Today’s Europe; Christian communication and “marketing” of Christian faith today and Christian Communication and building communion. 

Press Release

Communication of Christian Faith in Today’s Europe
Meeting of the CCEE-CEC Joint Committee in Hannover

 
Communication of the Christian faith in today’s Europe will be the focus of the annual meeting of the Joint Committee of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), scheduled to take place in Hannover (Germany) from 17-19 November.

Press Release

Standing up for Freedom of Religion or Belief

Training on Freedom of Religion or Belief took place from 12-15 November in Elstal, Germany. The training was hosted by the Union of Free churches in Germany, organized by the European Baptist Federation (EBF) and the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CEC).

Press Release

“Speaking always preceded by listening”: European churches discuss involvement in public debates

 On November 6 and 7, 2014, 20 people, representing 15 different churches from 15 countries, assembled in Strasbourg to discuss the question “How do churches speak up in public debates?” The aim of the workshop was to gain insights into the most effective and the most truthful ways to be heard and seen in public debates.

Press Release

The European Committee of Social Rights has delivered a decision in favour of the Conference of European Churches in its complaint against the Netherlands.  In early 2013, CEC asked the Committee to find that the right of undocumented adult migrants to food, clothing, and shelter has not been respected, in violation of the European Social Charter.

Training on Human Rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief for All

The European Baptist Federation, the Union of Evangelical Free churches in Germany & the Church and Society Commission of CEC

12-15 November 2014, Elstal (near Berlin), Germany

Programme

Press Release

Congratulation to the new European Commission

The Conference of European Churches congratulates the newly appointed European Commission, President Jean-Claude Junker and the Commissioners, and wishes God’s blessing and accompaniment for the start of their work on 1 November 2014.

Available Now

CEC Annual Review 2013

The major challenges confronting Europe and the rest of the world impel us to look outwards after a necessary period of internal renewal. Pray for all the Churches of Europe, and those of other faiths, and pray that CEC may find its proper vocation of service for the churches in this new context as it did of old half a century ago. The situation is not the same as in 1914, or indeed 1939, but the imperative for the Churches to work in the spirit of the seventh Beatitude remains:
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.’ (Matt. 5. 9)

Rt. Rev. Christopher Hill D.D., President
Rev. Dr. Guy Liagre, General Secretary

Press Release

Engagement, education and ethics - inseparable elements of climate policies

CEC response to the proposed EU climate change policy for 2030

Conference of European Churches urges the European Council ‘to be more ambitious in their final decision when shaping EU climate and energy policies’. This is underlined in the letter that has been sent by CEC to the EU decision makers in view of the upcoming meeting of the European Council, which should adopt decisions on the future shape of EU climate policies up to 2030.

Press Release

The Conference of European Churches congratulates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai  who were jointly awarded  the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 for their work on "the struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the rights of all children to education"

“Education is the only road open to children allowing them to reach their full potential in life”, the General Secretary Rev. Dr. Guy Liagre said. The Conference of European Churches underlines that too many children in need around the world do not get a quality education whereby they can learn and develop. Access to education is a fundamental human right. But social conditions often prevent children from attending school. “The prohibition of child labour and the protection of children according to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child should be a priority all over the world”, the General Secretary added. 

Press Release

ECEN Assembly

The Churches and Faith Communities of Europe have a role and a voice in responding to climate change

The 10th Assembly of European Christian Environmental Network concluded in Balatonszarszo (Hungary) on 30 September, 2014.

More than 100 delegates and guests from 24 countries, engaged in works on care for creation, attended the Assembly under the theme of 'Energy and Climate Change - the Churches' Role and Voice' offered a place for discussion, worships and sharing of the churches’ concerns related to climate change and energy use.

© Christine Kristof
© Katharina Stolberg
CCME Press Release

Remembering persons who have lost their lives calls for a commitment to prevent such catastrophes


One year after the tragedy off the shores of Lampedusa, persons across Europe remember the persons who have lost their lives in this and many other incidents in the Mediterranean Sea. The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe takes this opportunity to call on churches, governments, European institutions and people across Europe for a commitment to prevent such catastrophes.

Press Release

4th CALL-Assembly in Rome, 22-24 September 2014

“Bridges between hope and reality – overcoming imbalances in Europe” was the theme of the 4th Assembly of the CALL-network, which was held in Rome from 22 to 24 September. 28 participants from 16 different European countries and even more different churches in Europe reflected on the growing economic imbalances, the impact on employment and labour market in Europe and how they could be addressed to improve matters.

Press Release

Energy and climate change – the churches’ role and voice
10th Assembly of the European Christian Environmental Network


The 10th Assembly of the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) under the theme ‘Energy and Climate Change – the Churches’ Role and Voice’ will take place from 27 September – 1 October 2014 in Balatonszárszó (Hungary). The aim of the meeting is to offer a space for a discussion on recent developments in climate change, energy and ethics, and to strengthen Churches’ engagement and cooperation in responding to these concerns.

Press Release

CEC president greets the Jewish Community on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah

The Conference of European Churches shares with the Jewish communities in Europe hopes for new beginnings in this season of remembrance and renewal. The president, Rt. Rev. Christopher Hill D.D., offered his warm greetings to all in the European Jewish communities and underlined “the deep bonds of solidarity and friendship in faith that bind us together through our common roots”.

Press Release

Advancing Freedom of Religion or Belief for All

“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” 1 Peter 2:16

The Conference of European Churches launched the project of the Summer School on Human Rights devoted to the topic of Freedom of Religion or Belief from 15-18 September in Palermo, Italy. It was hosted by Italian Protestant Federation with academic support by KU Leuven. 

Press Release

Climate change: Young Christians call on EU to commit to eco-justice

 “We stand for Sustainability and Eco-justice” was the main conclusion of the conference which was held in Brussels on 9 September. The Conference, co-organised by Christian organisations in Brussels, gathered representatives of the EU Institutions, Christian youth organisations and churches representatives. The forum emphasised that entering a path to decarbonise societies and climate justice can be achieved only through cooperation of many stakeholders including those from politics, civil society and churches. A specific role is to be given to the younger generation in this process.

Press Release

Advancing Freedom of Religion or belief for all

Restrictions of freedom of religion or belief are an increasing challenge to the global world and to Europe in particular. The Summer School on Human Rights, hosted by the Italian Protestant Federation on 15-18 September in Palermo, Italy, is an unprecedented response. For the first time, European Churches join forces in order to designate a school on human rights and in particular to freedom of religion or belief.

Summer School on Human Rights

"Theology and Human Rights -
Freedom of Religion or Belief for All"
15 - 18 September 2014, Palermo - Italy

Press Release

Programme

CCME Press Release

CCME 19th General Assembly 26-29 June 2014

The 19th General Assembly of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe ended on Sunday 29th June. In their final message, delegates from across Europe called for “a change of attitudes regarding migration in accordance with European values.” The message highlights that this “includes secure and legal access to Europe for those in need of protection”.

Public Statement

Botschaft der 19. CCME Vollversammlung

CCME Press Release

Ecumenical European meeting on "Crossing borders - at what price?”


The 19th General Assembly of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) started on 26 June at the Sigtuna Foundation. The Church of Sweden and the Christian Council of Sweden, the two Swedish member organisations in CCME, are hosting the event in Sigtuna. One of the issues discussed on the opening day is how the churches can influence European countries to take greater responsibility for the refugee crises in our vicinity.


And now, what are
you waiting for?

CEC and its Mission
in a Changing Europe

Report of the 14th General Assembly of
the Conference of European Churches

Press Release

Commemorate Persons who lost their lives on their way to seek safety

The Assembly of the Conference of European Churches held in Budapest in July 2013 has renewed the call on churches to “to commemorate those who have died on their journey to find a dignified life in Europe through an annual day of prayer.”

Letter to the CEC and CCME Member Churches and Associated Organisations

Gedenken an Menschen, die ihr Leben auf der Suche Sicherheit verloren haben

Religious leaders meet European Institutions

© European Union, 2014

© European Union, 2014

© European Union, 2014

Press release

CEC Governing Board meets in Brussels

The Governing Board of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) held its third meeting since the 2013 Assembly in Budapest. The meeting took place in Brussels, Belgium, from the 2nd to the 5th of June 2014.

Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Archbishop Jovan – political prisoner number one in contemporary Europe - 24 May 2014

The Assembly published an Announcement in which it also speaks of the canonical Church in R. Macedonia, the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric.

For the full text of the announcement, available in Serbian only, click here



National Councils of Churches met from 20 to 23 May 2014 in the Netherlands and in Belgium

Programme

Selected  contributions

The Economical Crisis: Analysing the situation
Drs. ing. Huib Klamer - Christian Union of Employers in the Netherlands

What do the churches in the Netherlands do?
Dr. Trinus Hoekstra - Protestant Church in the Netherland. Secretary of the Society Advisory Group of the National Council of Churches in the Netherlands

Press Release

Improving the conditions of the Roma people in Europe: challenges and open questions
Joint CCCE - CEC press release after the meeting

German  French

The Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) held a joint consultation on the theme “Improving the Situation of Roma People in Europe: Challenges and open questions” under the auspices of the Greek Presidency of the European Union.

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Breaking News:

Press Release No: 15/14

07.04.15

CEC-CCEE message on the occasion of International Roma Day

The following is a statement from the...

Press Release No: 15/13

01.04.15

The Rev. Dr Philip Potter, third general secretary of the World Council of Churches, died yesterday...

Press Release No: 15/12

30.03.15

The governing board of the Conference of European Churches met in Brussels on 24 and 25 March. The...


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Available Now

Communiqué of the IVth Consultation of Theological Faculties in Europe
25 - 28 September 2013
(Graz process)

English - German

Imagine a Europe...

As a service to Member Churches wishing to promote an active, democratic and reponsible participation in European Affairs, the CEC-CSC Working Group on Education produced a set of postcards portraying a vision of Europe as it could be and linking its pre-occupations and concerns directly to the Christian ethos.

Available in Croatian

EVROPSKE CRKVE I LJUDSKA PRAVA
Aktuelni izazovi i materijal za obuku

European Churches engaging in Human Rights - Present Challenges and Training Material

The manual has been translated and published by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Serbia. The Church and Society Commission of CEC is very grateful to KAS for having made this possible.

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“Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct”, a five-page document on the conduct of mission “according to gospel principles...