How extensive is the freedom in the economically booming People’s Republic of China? We know a lot and so we are not surprised that Christians are fleeing that country. Their lives are actually in danger, and so it is not surprising that they flee to us, the free Czech Republic, where they expect understanding and a friendly reception. Their expectations, however, are disappointed; the political conditions in this free country are not friendly or understanding, at least not towards migrants. Even though the powerful rely on the concept of ‚Christian values‘, used in this way the term is completely empty of meaning and communicates nothing.
And so you can read in this edition of the Bulletin what action our church has taken with regard to these asylum seekers. We have also written earlier about the resistance of Cubans to their regime, and this year our church expressed its solidarity with Cuban dissidents. We hope that you enjoyed the program that we arranged for you in the Václav Havel Library.
And you, dear friends, we wish you joy this summer. But above all – let everyone be aware of their freedom, let us be aware of the joy of not having to fight for it. It is a rare condition in which to live.
With the best wishes of our editors,
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