Press Release No: 17/37
5 October 2017
The Conference of European Churches and the Spanish Evangelical Church deplore the violence in Catalonia on Sunday October 1 2017, and express the solidarity of European Christians with the churches and all people of Catalonia and Spain. The Regional Government had called a referendum to know the opinion of the citizens regarding the eventual independence of Catalonia.
Spanish Central Government did not approve the referendum and reacted by sending State security forces, National Police and Civil Guard to prevent Catalan people from voting in the referendum.
This resulted in the police and civil guard officers attacking citizens wanting to exercise their right to vote, in many cases in a brutal and violent manner. Young people, elderly, women, men and even children, were attacked, out of any proportion with their peaceful behaviour. Throughout Catalonia, almost one thousand was injured.
The Conference of European Churches would like to draw the attention of the Spanish and Catalan Governments to the unique tradition of democratic development in Spain after decades of fascist dictatorship.
For the churches, the behaviour of government officials resulting in violence is an urgently alarming sign echoing the threats to democracy and the respect of human rights, perceivable in different European countries.
The Conference of European Churches invites its Member Churches and all European Christians to pray for the peace and democracy of Catalonia and Spain, and to work together with all people of goodwill for these aims everywhere in Europe.
Mr. Joel Cortes – President of the Permanent Commission of the Spanish Evangelical Church
Rt Rev. Christopher Hill KCVO, DD – CEC President
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The Conference of European Churches  (CEC) is a fellowship of some 114 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 National Councils of Churches and Organisations in Partnership. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Brussels and Strasbourg.