Press Release No: 15/45
20 November 2015
From 16 to 18 November secretaries responsible for European affairs met in Strasbourg (France) for an annual meeting. More than two-dozen participants from across Europe gathered to discuss church and society issues and learn more about the role of the Council of Europe in conflicts and reconciliation.
The meeting facilitated important dialogue between CEC and its Member Churches and Organisations in Partnership. Those gathered enjoyed presentations from CEC staff on several thematic areas, including the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris. CEC Study Secretary Rev. Dr Peter Pavlovic introduced church engagement, main scientific findings about climate change, and the pilgrimage for climate justice.
The group was received at the Council of Europe for presentations on building democratic security, freedom of expression, the situation of Roma people in Europe, and the work of the Commissioner for Human Rights. They appreciated that the Council of Europe and its engagement in human rights, the rule of law, and education for democratic citizenship is very close to the convictions of the churches in Europe.
Participants enjoyed learning about the different situations of churches in Europe, especially on important issues like the refugee crisis and changing church-state relationships.
The deadly attacks in Paris impacted the meeting. In prayers and meditations the participants expressed deep sorrow and solidarity with the victims and their families. They prayed, with the people and churches of Europe, for reconciliation and peace.
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Conference of European Churches
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 council of churches and organisations in partnership. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Brussels and Strasbourg.