CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger highlighted the role of the churches and religion in the pursuit of peace, especially amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. The CEC president was speaking at the international meeting “The Cry for Peace: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue”, held in Rome from 23 to 25 October by the Catholic Community of Sant’Egidio.
Religious leaders and representatives of cultures from around the world joined Pope Francis at the event, discussing the theme and concluding with a prayer for peace at the Colosseum.
In his contribution to the dialogue, Krieger emphasised that “churches and religions have a great role to play, through their prayer and advocacy, but also through their capacity to contribute towards reconciliation and the healing of memories.”
He reflected on the consequences of the war in Ukraine, the role of the European Union, and how the war has caused a paradigm shift in the European project, offering an opportunity to deepen and broaden its establishment and to better respond to the expectations from a global community.
The CEC president said the war not only challenges the future of Europe, it also “challenges Christianity and religions, forcing them to rethink and deepen their discourse on peace and reconciliation. Our plea for lasting peace must be circumstantial, without losing sight of its purpose.”
“In the times we live in, times of armed violence, advocacy for a lasting peace must be the suspension of arms and the demand for truth and justice, which are the foundations of lasting peace. If the truth for justice is not realised, reconciliation or forgiveness are out of reach.”
“It is for this reason that the work and advocacy of the Conference of European Churches for truth and justice have taken precedence to achieve the goal of lasting peace,” added Krieger.