16dek2011

From 9-11 of December 2011 a conference was held at the evangelical academy of Bad Ball in Germany, on the topic of «The Understanding of Human Rights by the Christians-Difficult Questions». They participated representatives from the Orthodox Churches of; the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Church of Cyprus, Russia, Romania and Serbia, while on behalf of the Protestants, representatives from the protestant communities of Finland, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Prague, Slovakia, and of Norway. In addition on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church Mrs. Gabriel Ingeborg, professor of the systematic theology at the University of Vienna held a speech. The Church of Cyprus was represented by the theologian Mr. Georgios Ioannou.

          During the conference, it was discussed various perspective of Human rights on a theological and on a legal base, while a great part of the meeting was dedicated in the way of handling violations of Human Rights by the Churches’ members of the European Union or members of the European Council. Meanwhile the document of the Orthodox church of Russia on Human Rights, that was ratified by the Russian church on 2008 and which concern the way that the Russian Orthodox Church and only comprehends Human Rights on a theological base, was discussed intensely by the rest of the orthodox as well as the protestants. 

          During the special discussion for the violation of Human Rights within the European Union and the countries members of the European Council, the representative of the Church of Cyprus mentioned the various violations of religious rights and beliefs by the occupant regime since 1974. In addition he stressed that among the aims of the Church of Cyprus during the second semester of 2012, when the Republic of Cyprus will be the president country of the European Union, is to make known in a stronger way the violations of the religious freedoms by the occupying forces.

          Common perception of all participants is that despite the differences on theological levels, Christians must with a concrete voice fight for Human Rights and religious freedom whether those are violated in countries members of the European Union, countries members of the European Council, or even countries of the Middle East. Among others it was stressed that ‘‘...all Churches during the conference expressed their intention to continue the dialogue in order to support the churches to strengthen their work in the human rights’ area despite their different approach on the theology of human rights’’.

          All in all, the participant churches expressed their willingness to continue the dialogue with the purpose of strengthen their effort of supporting Human rights and religious beliefs and to approach even each other on a theological level.

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