Press Release No: 19/01
18 January 2019
The following is a joint message from the general secretaries of the Conference of European Churches and Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) on the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019. The CEC General Secretary is Fr Heikki Huttunen and CCEE General Secretary is Fr Martin Michalíček.
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Justice and only justice you shall pursue
Every year Christians around the entire world gather in prayer for the sake of healing division and strengthening unity. Traditionally, we celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity between 18 and 25 January, the feasts of St Peter and St Paul.
This year the theme—Justice and only justice you shall pursue (Deuteronomy 16:18-20)—and reflection comes from the churches in Indonesia, a country remarkable for its linguistic, cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity. Within this mosaic, Indonesians live together by the principle of gotong royong—solidarity and collaboration. In this spirit, the Conference of European Churches and the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences join in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Indonesia and throughout the world in cultivating harmony, promoting justice, and protecting the weak.
In Europe, social and economic inequalities persist and grow, refugees arrive unwelcomed at our borders, and entire communities are excluded and marginalised. Coming face-to-face with these daily realities, we are called as Christians to be living witnesses of the one Body of Christ. We find hope in Christian communities that practice radical hospitality, witnessing to the grace and mercy first shown to us. Through this service, we also work towards the, yet unachieved, visible unity of Christ’s church.
Together CEC and CCEE will continually and prayerfully work for the coming of the Kingdom here and now. We support each other and all efforts to overcome inequality, extended hospitality and friendship to those most in need, and give witness to a hope rooted in the unparalleled grace of Christ Jesus.
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