There’s no need to write too much about the lack of freedom in the economically prosperous People’s Republic of China. It is no wonder the local Christians flee the country if they get a chance. Their lives are in danger.
It should surprise us no less that they are also fleeing to the Czech Republic, a democratic country, where one would expect to find understanding and a welcoming attitude. However, the situation in this country is not very friendly towards migrants and the Chinese Christians will not be granted asylum, as they had hoped. Our country’s leaders are justifying their fear of immigrants with “Christian values”, but it is obvious this term has lost any meaning, it is just an empty phrase.
In this issue of the Bulletin, you will find out about the stance that the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren has taken on the topic.
We have also been reporting about the Cubans’ resistance against the regime in their country for quite some time now, and in this issue you will find an article on how the ECCB welcomed Cuban dissidents again this year. We hope they enjoyed the programme we prepared for them in the Václav Havel Library.
We wish you all a joyful summer. Let the articles you might read here serve as a reminder that we need to cherish our freedom and value the fact that we do not have to fight for it. Freedom is a precious estate and we need to take good care of it.
With best wishes
On behalf of the Editorial Board
Around one hundred delegates, advisors and guests from all around the Czech Republic have come together in the Castle Hill area in the town of Litomyšl in order to discuss the life, maintenance and future of their church. Continue reading Session of the Synod
At the end of February, representatives of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH) met in Brno to discuss topics such as church education, church funding and national identity. Continue reading Czech and Hungarian Protestants Discussed the Role of Churches in Society
Statement of the Synodal Council concerning the fact that Chinese Christians were not granted asylum in the Czech Republic
Only eight Chinese Christians who had applied for international protection in the Czech Republic were granted asylum by the Ministry of the Interior at the end of February. The refugees filed their applications in early 2016, however the decision was postponed several times and, in the end, 70 applications were rejected. Continue reading Chinese Christians in the Czech Republic
Since the ECCB became a member of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in 2004, our experience of this world community has enriched us in many ways. This bond was felt in a special way at the Reformation anniversary in 2017. Our contact with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) had already started in 2015. The La Crosse Area Synod in Wisconsin was looking for a new partnership in Central Europe and, after getting to know one another via telephone calls and emails, a delegation from the La Crosse Area Synod visited the Czech Republic in June 2017. Many conversations and many visits gave the four visitors an impression of the past and present of the ECCB. Continue reading A New Partnership
The 14th Conference on World Mission and Evangelisation took place on 8th to 13th March 2018 in the town of Arusha in Tanzania. As usual, it was organized by the World Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) of the World Council of Churches, this time attended by over 1,000 delegates from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, Catholic and other churches. The ECCB was represented by young theologian Pavol Bargár. Continue reading World Mission Conference in Arusha, Tanzania
In 2015-16 the Protestant Theological Faculty in Prague (PTF) opened a new study programme at Bachelor level which is innovative and unusual in many ways. It is run in conjunction with the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences (Diak) in Helsinki, Finland, and the International Academy for Diaconia and Social Action, Central and Eastern Europe, o.p.s. (Interdiac) in the Silesian part of the Czech Republic, and teaching is provided jointly by teachers from all three institutions. Students are enrolled both at PTF and at Diak, and on graduation they will receive degrees from both partner universities. The title of the study programme is “Social Services Focused on Diaconia and Christian Social Practice”, and it is taught entirely in English. Most of the students come from Eastern European or non-European countries, and the aim of the programme is to equip them with both theoretical and practical knowledge in the whole generic field of social work and social services, with a special focus on the participatory approach, incorporating anti-oppressive practice, empowerment and community development. The programme also includes the study of social work in the context of churches and faith communities (diaconia) which is an additional study that equips graduates to practice in church related contexts. As part of their studies, students have to undertake extensive practice placements. Continue reading Three Things I Learned from my Studies in the Czech Republic
There’s a shy knock on the door. Then it suddenly flies open and two little girls come charging into the room. They immediately get hold of Andrea and start begging: “Andy, shall we play sugar – coffee?” Andrea Bendíková hugs them and answers: “Okay, but when we’re done with the tutoring, alright?” The girls agree. Continue reading Roma People Among Us. The Story of a High School Girl
On Easter Monday, a Czech-Dutch working group met for the first time, which for the next three years will focus on secularization. The first joint seminar was held from 2 April to 4 April 2018 in Horní Maršov in the Eastern Krkonoše, in a building of a former parsonage, sensitively renovated and used by a civil association. Continue reading The Czech-Dutch working group
The Ecumenical Council of Churches has voiced its concern over the fact that the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament supported, in the first reading, the proposal of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia to impose a tax on church restitutions. Continue reading The Ecumenical Council of Churches Is Against the Taxation of Church Restitutions