The President of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) Rev. Christian Krieger shared a special message for the 50th anniversary of the Portuguese Council of Christian Churches (COPIC) at an ecumenical event in Lisbon, held under the theme “United in Love and Hope” on 12 June.
The celebration was attended by Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Religion Freedom Commission, Dr José Vera Jardim, President of the Communion of Protestant Churches in Latin Countries, Rev. Alfredo Abad, President of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference, José Ornelas Carvalho, President of the Evangelical Alliance of Portugal, Dr António Calaim and President of the Council of Christian Churches of Portugal, Bishop Jorge Pina Cabral, among others.
“It is a great honour and an occasion of deep gratitude to participate in this service. The theme evokes unity, which binds the followers of Christ in love and hope,” said Rev. Krieger.
He welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding “Eco Churches Portugal programme” at the event, which aims to promote the ethics of sustainability. “To care for creation is a core issue, not only for churches, not only for CEC and Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), but for all humanity. The Holy Scripture teaches us that the living world is not only God’s work, but also lives in a community of destiny,” he said.
“The salvation of humanity and the salvation of creation is everyone’s responsibility and requires the conversion of each individual,” added Rev. Krieger.
President of the Council of Christian Churches of Portugal, Bishop Jorge Pina Cabral said, “The presence of CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger in this celebration was very important as he introduced the great ecumenical European family to various churches present. In his intervention, he underlined the commitment of the ecumenical churches to the challenges facing Europe, namely the reception of migrants and greater social justice capable of combating poverty. These concerns were very welcomed and underlined by the President of Portugal in his speech.”
“The ecumenical movement in Portugal and Europe has been reinforced with this celebration which also now opens new paths of cooperation,” added Bishop Jorge.