It is a cold, damp November morning and another school day has just started at Diaconia’s special school in Prague-Michle. However, from what is happening outside the building, it looks like this is not going to be a regular day like any other. About eight Chinese people have just got out of their cars and they are preparing to enter. What is going on? Continue reading China, Vietnam, Brazil, Singapore. Special School in Michle, Providing Education Also to Children of Foreigners
it is a pleasure to be able to present the new Easter issue of our Bulletin.
Apart from the latest news, we will also be looking back on two events that happened some time ago but that are very important to us.
We have brought information about our church’s 100th anniversary in previous issues, however the main celebration took place at the same venue and, almost precisely to the day, on the date of our church’s founding in 1918, which is why we are only providing a report with photos and videos now.
Jan Palach. In January 1969, this name went down in Czech history as a unique phenomenon. Nearly half a year after Czechoslovakia was occupied by the Soviet-led armies of the Warsaw Pact, the student set himself on fire at the top of Wenceslas Square to protest against the atmosphere of resignation that had taken hold of Czech society. Following the funeral service at the Carolinum of the Charles University, where the academic community, along with hundreds of thousands of Czech people, said goodbye to Jan Palach, he was buried by Jakub S. Trojan, professor of the Protestant Theological Faculty, at the Olšany cemetery. You will find an interview with Jakub S. Trojan, in which he reflects on the 1969 events, in this issue of the Bulletin. The events that were organised in January this year, in front of the National Museum, to commemorate Palach’s death, were dignified, in good taste. Our Synodal Senior, Daniel Ženatý, as well as other representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches spoke during these events.
Dear friends, may the hope, peace and joy granted by our Lord during Easter not forsake you in the days to come!
The international conference about the „eight-year“ took place in Prague at the end of last year. Representatives of the Evangelical Churches in Central Europe met in remembrance of the dynamic changes of the year 1918 which not only transposed the frontiers but also resulted in changes in the organisation and cooperation of the churches. Continue reading The Revolutionary Year of 1918 from the perspective of Central European Churches. Conference in the Senate
Years ending in eights have often marked significant events, not only in the European, but also in the global context. However, especially the Czech Republic has many anniversaries ending in eights, anniversaries that are of great importance to our history. This also applies to 2018.
50 years have passed since 1968, the year that began with the promising “Prague Spring” and ended in total despair after the occupation of the Soviet army and the armies of the Warsaw Pact.
There is another 50-year anniversary we would like to draw attention to. It does not have an eight at the end, but it is closely related to 1968: in January 1969, Jan Palach, a university student, set himself on fire in front of the National Museum, at the top of Wenceslas Square. His act was an act of protest against the peoples’ lack of will and gradual adaptation to the situation, the lethargy that set in in the months following the occupation.
I would like to finish this editorial with a more encouraging piece of history to commemorate: 100 years have passed since the end of WWI, and also since the founding of Czechoslovakia with our first President, T.G. Masaryk; it has also been 100 years since the founding of our Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, which is certainly a reason to celebrate! You’ll find an article about the ECCB’s centenary at the very beginning of our Bulletin.
We should, however, keep in mind what our Synodal Senior said at the ECCB’s centenary celebrations in Pardubice: “What’s a hundred years from a higher perspective?” Well put, right? Advent is coming. May the Christmas message bring us hope and support. In the busy weeks before Christmas, let us not forget the utmost source of joy and encouragement, true peace that surpasses our understanding.
Over many years, the ECCB has been involved in partnerships between congregations. These have involved partners in the Netherlands (there was once a great number of these), with Switzerland, with Germany, with Scotland, and with the United States of America. (There may be some I have missed!) Continue reading Partnerships and Partners
Jesus as a fugitive. Migrant Sarah and migrant Abraham. Joseph in the hands of human traffickers. Economic migrant Ruth. The Lord as a guest. And what about those who are on their way, on the run or in a foreign country today? Continue reading God loves foreigners
In the centennial anniversary of the establishment of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, the Czech state commemorates 100 years since the end of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the foundation of the independent republic. Czech Protestants have been associated with the modern history of the country from the very beginning. Evennow, they are known as prominent statesmen, thinkers, human rights defenders, or opponents of communist totalitarianism. Continue reading Film and discussion evenings on „Famous Protestants“
Associate Professor Jiří Mrázek will continue as Dean of the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University (PTF) until 2022. His first four-year term of office came to an end after the academic year 2017-2018, but he was re-elected for a second term by the Academic Senate of PTF (consisting of representatives of the students and teachers) and he was then officially reappointed by the Rector of Charles University. Continue reading Jiří Mrázek Reappointed Dean of the Prague Theology Faculty
In this year’s Easter edition of the Ecumenical Bulletin, we reported about the help that Diaconia has been providing at the refugee camp in Zátarí, Jordan. A Lent collection was taking place in the ECCB’s congregations at the time, the proceeds of which were designated for the people at this camp. 1 million Czech crowns were raised in the collection, also thanks to our partners from the United States (Diaconia Connections). The funds from this collection will help enlarge the “Peace Oasis”, the Diaconia centre at the Zátarí camp. This will give the inhabitants of the camp more room for meeting with people, as well as space for specific aid programmes organised by Diaconia in cooperation with other organisations. In addition to this, a playground is being constructed for the local children, protected from the sharp desert sun, providing swings, slides and climbing frames.
The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren has founded six schools and another one is about to open in Brno. We boast a conservatory in Olomouc, we are proud of the graduates of our medical school, of our secondary schools and vocational universities with a focus on social work, and we are happy to watch the progress of the children at the School of the Brethren, so far the only elementary school. Our schools are unique in their family-like atmosphere and in the fact that they also give extra attention to students with problems. Inspections usually evaluate the ECCB’s schools as successful, as graduates tend to find jobs easily. This may seem like a drop in the ocean of Czech schools; but we are glad to be able to make this small contribution to the Czech education system. Two of our schools have been striving for years to increase their student capacity and safeguard their existence by constructing new buildings which comply with current tuition standards. The number of people interested in placing their child in one of the ECCB’s schools is currently higher than the number of students the schools are able to accept. Continue reading Two Brand New Schools Are Becoming a Reality, a Third One is Planned