Germany: Partnership consultation urges increased efforts for peace

Participants of the Peace Consultation among partner churches of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany. Photo: LKÖZ
Participants of the Peace Consultation among partner churches of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany. Photo: LKÖZ

“Churches as communities working toward peace”

(LWI) – The Evangelical Church in Central Germany (EKM) and its partner churches aim to intensify their engagement in interreligious dialogue and advocate for non-violence and mutual understanding at the local, regional and national levels.

With this in mind, participants in an ecumenical peace consultation earlier this month, adopted a joint declaration calling for dialogue with Christians worldwide, with churches and non-governmental organizations, because “only through discussion and encounter can there be reconciliation.” “Therefore, may our churches be communities always working toward peace,” reads the joint statement issued by the EKM and its partner churches from Belarus, England, Finland, India, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia, Tanzania, and the United States.

“Historically grounded in the call ‘Swords to Plowshares’ of the peace movement in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), we are concerned about today’s global and European situation. Different actors articulated the call for peace differently,” said Dr. Judith Königsdörfer, the executive for partnership work and ecumenical learning at the EKM’s Lothar Kreyssig Ecumenical Center. “We listened to the individual perspectives from churches and countries facing a range of conflicts. Maintaining peaceful communication, the role of churches as social actors, and the indispensable work churches do in their respective contexts were among the topics we discussed.”

From 7 to 12 May, representatives from the partner churches of the EKM and the Leipziger Missionswerk met in Wittenberg to reflect on and discuss aspects of the church’s action for peace and open perspectives for further steps in their churches.

Representatives from member churches of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) who participated in the consultation came from the EKM, a Lutheran congregation in Grodno (Belarus) and the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Slovak Republic, Church of Sweden, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, and the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church. Other ecumenical delegates came from the Church of England, the United Church of Christ (USA), and the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

By LWF/A. Weyermüller

 

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