The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland had invited representatives of its partner churches in Central and Eastern Europe, including RCH, to discuss together the joint responsibility of Churches in Europe in promoting democracy.
"Democracy" - does the word stand for a common European consensus of values or is it rather a projection screen for a series of desired social developments which are disappointed again and again? From the very beginning the discussions and contributions that came up at the conference of the CPCE Regional Group North West Europe were exciting. The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland had invited representatives of its partner churches in Central and Eastern Europe to the Protestant meeting center Foyer le Pont from 2 to 5 September 2021 - in addition to the Northern and Western European church representatives.
Under the title "The Contribution of the Churches to the Further Development of Democracy in Europe", reference was made to church and theological traditions as well as critical discussions on the role model function of Protestant churches for a democratic public sphere. Is it the task of the church to offer orientation for a plural public life or to practise peaceful and open coexistence on a small scale?
The participants went back to their respective church contexts highly motivated and inspired. Even if it was still a beginning of conversations, the study process on church and democracy, which the CPCE General Assembly 2018 in Basel had initiated, had a first high point here in Paris.
Beside the CPCE North West Europe Group, representatives of the South East Central Europe Group and the European Region of the World Communion of Reformed Churches were also present, on the invitation of the Church in Rhinland, in order to coordinate to refection and ongoing work of the different European ecumenical organisations addressing the issue of democracy, populism and xenophobia from a Christian perspective. RCH was represented at the consultation by Rev. Sándor Fazakas, Professor of Social Ethics at the Reformed Theological University in Debrecen, who offered one of the two keynote presentations.