Church response to COVID-19
CEC is an ecumenical fellowship of 113 churches from Orthodox, Protestant, and Anglican traditions, across Europe. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we are constantly accompanying our Member Churches, National Councils of Churches and Organisations in Partnership in prayer and solidarity.
CEC recommends following instructions and information from the World Health Organization and local authorities. The WHO website contains the necessary and latest information and advice for individuals, organisations, and countries on measures of precaution and mitigation.
To ensure the safety and health of its staff and community at large, CEC together with the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe has taken strict measures, cancelling operations in its Brussels and Strasbourg office, complying with instructions from local authorities, working on its programmes online.
How is CEC responding?
- CEC Theological Reflections: Holy Communion as a Communal Feast amid COVID-19: September’s reflections on “Holy Communion as a Communal Feast amid COVID-19” are penned by Bishop Dr Jari Jolkkonen from the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland.
- CEC Theological Reflections: Seeking, sharing, and serving the risen Lord: Dr Katherine Shirk Lucas from the Catholic University of Paris reflects on seeking, sharing, and serving the risen Lord: the Church as communion during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CEC video features responses to human rights in the times of COVID-19: Churches and believers across Europe have experienced numerous hardships, posing challenges to the state of human rights in the times of COVID-19. To explore these issues, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) releases a new video, featuring impressions from participants of its 7th virtual Summer School on Human Rights.
- CEC Annual Report 2020: Living in Hope in Pandemic Times: The report reviews CEC activities carried out in the tumultuous year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report is available in English, French and German.
- CEC Theological Reflections: Eucharist and Communion during COVID-19 pandemic: Rev. Cristian Sonea from the Romanian Orthodox Church reflects on Eucharist and Communion during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CEC Theological Reflections: Solidarity and Eucharist during COVID-19: Dutch theologian Jutta Eilander-van Maaren reflects on Church solidarity, togetherness and Eucharist during the COVID-19 pandemic, sharing practices from the life of the Old-Catholic Church of the Netherlands.
- A tangle of COVID-19 challenges for European churches and society: how do we begin to unknot them? Maria Sonnleithner was reflecting on young people whose mental health has been at risk amid COVID-19, even as the strain on the caring adults and churches in their lives has grown exponentially as well.
- CEC Theological Reflections: Communion in Crisis – A Protestant Perspective from Germany: As part of CEC’s monthly Theological Reflections series, read reflections from Lea Schlenker, CEC Governing Board Member from the Evangelical Church in Germany.
- CEC and COMECE share a message of hope for Easter amid COVID-19: In a joint message for the upcoming Easter, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) together with the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) affirm sheer hope in Christ’s resurrection in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read it in French.
- COVID–19 Vaccination – Christian Perspectives. Discussion Paper from CEC Thematic Group on Science, New Technologies and Christian Ethics. Read it in Dutch, German, Estonian or French.
- CEC Theological Reflections: Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic. CEC’s new online theological series “Exploring Church in Mission” is launched by CEC Thematic Group on Ecclesiology and Mission. The theme for this year’s series is “Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic”.
- “Vaccination – Curse or blessing?” CEC webinar: The webinar held on 18 February explored the current state of scientific knowledge regarding COVID-19 vaccination from an ethical Christian perspective. The video of the webinar is available for viewing.
- Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Amid the pandemic, European churches unite through prayer. As Europe continues to reel from the COVID-19 crisis, with communities experiencing separation and isolation, churches are observing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in new and innovative ways.
- Religious leaders discuss “European Way of Life” in European Commission High-Level Meeting. A European Commission’s high-level meeting for Religious Leaders brought into sharp focus how the current COVID-19 crisis has affected and challenged our way of life.
- Virtual Summer School explores human rights in the times of COVID-19. Challenges for human rights in the times of COVID-19 was a theme in focus at the 7th virtual Summer School on Human Rights.
- EPP webinar: Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on churches. CEC general secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen spoke at a webinar of the EPP Working Group on Intercultural and Religious Dialogue, on 24 June 2020, focused on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on churches and churches’ social teachings in response to COVID.
- Reflections on the current COVID-19 crisis from CEC’s Thematic Group on Education, Democracy and Diversity, regarding the ongoing debate on the role of churches and COVID-19 in Europe. Also available in French, German, Polish and Romanian.
- Reflections on Freedom of Religion or Belief during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic offered by CEC Thematic Group on Human Rights, available in Armenian, Bulgarian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish and Swedish.
- “Christ is risen, He is truly risen!” – Rev. Christian Krieger and H. Em. Card. Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, respectively presidents of CEC and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union share a common Easter message amidst COVID-19.
- Reflections on Christian Communion in a Time of Physical Distancing and COVID-19 offered by CEC Thematic Group on Science, New Technologies and Christian Ethics in view of the Easter.
- “Let us remain united” – Churches call for commitment to common European values amidst COVID-19 – Presidents of CEC and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union issued a call stressing the importance of unity.
- Churches around the world say, “this is a time to touch each other’s hearts” – “A Time for Pastoral, Prophetic and Practical Christianity: A Joint Statement from the World Council of Churches and the Regional Ecumenical Organizations
- CEC Presidency message to members and partners – CEC Presidency: Rev. Christian Krieger, Rt Rev. Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani and Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia have issued a call to churches to be united in prayers amid COVID-19 crisis.
- Invited by Pope Francis, churches to unite in Lord’s prayer amidst COVID-19 – Upon invitation from Pope Francis, CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger and CEC General Secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen shared call urging churches to unite in Lord’s Prayer
Prayers, messages and action from our members and partners
CEC members and partners are offering messages of hope and encouragement, sharing online resources not only to exchange information but also to support each other spiritually. They are taking action to respond to the crisis with efforts supporting the most vulnerable and isolated.
CEC features here websites of all its Member Churches, National Councils of Churches and Organisations in Partnership, where you can read on their respective websites about their response to COVID-19.
We are supporting and contributing to the World Council of Churches: “Coping with the Coronavirus” – a global ecumenical resource to share information, good practices, prayers and action.
To keep updated on news from CEC, our members and partners, read our Weekly Update
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