Monday, June 18, 2007

Churches Meet to Review Links with European Institutions

Monday, June 18, 2007
ChristianToday, UK

“Churches in Europe and Intercultural Dialogue” is the motto of this year’s plenary meeting of the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches, currently taking place in Armenia.

At the invitation of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church, the 25-member Commission and a number of guests and representatives from CEC associated organisations across 21 European countries have joined together in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, near the capital city of Yerevan.

“We have chosen the main theme of this year’s plenary meeting to reflect the process in the Council of Europe leading to a white paper on intercultural dialogue and because of the churches’ preparations for the 2008 European Year on Intercultural Dialogue,” said Rev Rüdiger Noll, Director of the Church and Society Commission and Associate General Secretary of CEC.

He continued: “We could not have found a better place for our discussions than Armenia, where the church is so much linked to the culture of the country.

“We are grateful for the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church for having invited us. We are eagerly looking forward to learn more about the spiritual life and the role in society of one of the oldest churches in Europe. The context in Armenia will make us look on Europe from beyond the borders of the European Union.”

The main theme of the plenary meeting, an annual event, was to be introduced with a key note address by Ulrich Bunjes from the office of the Coordinator for Intercultural Dialogue of the Council of Europe.

The Church and Society Commission links CEC’s 125 member churches from all over Europe and its 40 associated organisations with the European institutions.

The meeting will review the work of the Commission and its working groups in different areas, such as European integration, family policies, human rights and religious freedom, corporate social responsibility, environment and employment.

The Commission will also adopt its work programme for 2007/08. The new work programme is expected to highlight issues such as the developments toward an EU treaty and a public discussion on the role of religion in the public sphere.

The meeting began last Friday and will conclude this Tuesday.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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