Bulletin 54 – Christmas 2021

Dear Readers,

the tornado that hit Moravia this summer was unprecedented in our country. It was graded EF4, the second strongest on the scale, and the extent of the damages really was quite devastating. There are of course countries in the world where people are used to tornadoes, hurricanes and such natural phenomena and they know how to prepare for them and what to do. Not in the Czech Republic though. Hurricanes probably don’t even exist here and a tornado has occurred before, but not with such force. With the help of Mr Google, I’ve learned that a similar disaster last hit Prague in 1119 (!), as marked in the Czech Chronicle by Cosmas. Luckily enough, such terrors are often accompanied by acts of kindness that are worth remembering. The financial aid sent to the destroyed villages was immediate and its extent was as extraordinary as the strength of the whirlwind itself. I am happy to see that apart from the Adra and Člověk v tísni charity organisations, the ECCB’s Diaconia contributed a major amount. Large-scale, efficient aid was also sent from abroad, especially from German churches. The work of the above-mentioned organisations is of utmost importance, but they would be powerless without the help of civic society. The vast amounts of money that were collected by these organisations were sent by regular people from all around our country, which is something we need to be truly grateful for. Let us simple hope tornadoes do not become a phenomenon that we will have to get used to in the Czech Republic.

I would also like to draw attention to the personality of Svatopluk Karásek. You will find out who he was in the article about him. I would just like to point out that his personality, his activities, and, above all, his songs influenced a truly large amount of people, certainly not just Christians. The communist regime did not break him, as much as it strived to do so.

Summer is long since gone, Christmas is near and with it the joy that cannot be taken away by a tornado or by any other sorrowful events. Let us hold on to this belief.

Wishing you peace on behalf of the Editorial Board,

Jana_PliskovaJana Plíšková

Hit by destructive forces and taken aback by a wave of solidarity

20210626_140036On Thursday, the 24th of June 2021, the Hodonínsko and Břeclavsko regions were hit by a completely unexpected natural disaster. After a series of bad thunderstorms, a strong tornado passed through Southern Moravia. Apart from the material damages reported, there were many injured and some casualties as well. 2000 constructions (houses, churches, factories, etc.) were damaged, including a railway corridor. Hundreds of trees fell, countless roofs were carried away. This is something we are not used to seeing happen in our country. Continue reading Hit by destructive forces and taken aback by a wave of solidarity

Sváťa-Fest, 31 July 2021

Svata-webSvatopluk Karásek (*1942) served as a minister of the ECCB, first in a village called Hvozdnice, later in a town named Nové Město pod Smrkem. He remained a true pastor and a distinctive witness to Christ even after his state permission was withdrawn and he was working as manager at the Houska castle; neither did his attitude and personality change when he was imprisoned. In 1980, he emigrated to Switzerland, where he served at the reformed churches in Bonstetten and Zurich. After the 1989 Revolution in Czechoslovakia, he returned and resumed his work as minister, first at the Bethlehem Chapel in Prague, later again in Nové Město pod Smrkem and then again in Prague, at the St Salvator church. Svatopluk died on the fourth Sunday of Advent, on the 20th of December 2020. Continue reading Sváťa-Fest, 31 July 2021

Visiting the Father’s House on the way to see our compatriots in Ukraine

000923_05_009978In the nineties of the previous century, after Ukraine became an independent country, a successful surgeon and academician, Roman Korniiko, was active in Kyiv. He was not willing to live with the fact that hundreds of orphans were languishing homeless on the streets of the city, so he started seeking help for them. He would look for married couples that would be able to take care of them and he also tried to raise awareness of the issue. The attitude of the authorities was disapproving. He was often interrogated by the police and beaten several times. Yet he did not give up and managed to build up a group of like-minded Christians with whom he constructed a house to accommodate the orphans with their foster parents. Continue reading Visiting the Father’s House on the way to see our compatriots in Ukraine

We accept students that are not accepted at state schools Interview with Milan Černý, director of a school for children with severe handicaps, on broadening the school’s capacity

002_5955Ten years ago, he found out through a friend that Diaconia’s special needs school in Prague was looking for a new director. He had the qualification for such a position, but he did not have the experience. “I like accepting challenges and I had a feeling I would come across many of them at Diaconia,” Milan Černý explains. In fact, he is facing one of the biggest challenges just now: the special needs school in Michle, called V Zápolí, needs to significantly broaden its capacity in order to be able to help more families that have children with a severe handicap.   Continue reading We accept students that are not accepted at state schools Interview with Milan Černý, director of a school for children with severe handicaps, on broadening the school’s capacity

Worthwhile exchange studies!

Sofia 3The 1st of February, in the middle of the Corona pandemic, I came to Prague to study one semester at the Protestant Theological Faculty at Charles University. It seems like I brought the Swedish winter with me on my journey, since I got to experience Prague beautifully covered in snow for several days. In the middle of that, Věra Fritzová and Kristýna Kadlecová from the faculty organized a walk, passing by some historical places. That was a great start on my semester in Prague! Continue reading Worthwhile exchange studies!

Technology & religion

26d5c882-71fc-4439-be31-b42ba2e71922„Belief in technology represents a kind of modern eschatology – the belief that technology saves man and with it the world,“ says František Štěch from the Evangelical Theological Faculty of Charles University.

Mgr. František Štěch, Th.D., studied theology at the University of South Bohemia, where he taught until 2016. He gained experience at a number of foreign universities: in the Netherlands, Germany and the USA. It deals with fundamental theology, theological interpretation of the landscape and focuses on the study of the relationship between theology and new technologies. At the ETF CU, he leads an international research group dealing with the relationship between theology and contemporary culture and teaches at the Ecumenical Institute. Continue reading Technology & religion