From 9-11 December, some 60 representatives of Christian churches from 14 European countries met in the Protestant Academy, Bad Boll, Germany, to discuss the different confessional perspectives on the Christian understanding of human rights. There were different approaches to the understanding of human dignity and human value but there was agreement that the Churches have to be strong advocates of the protection of international human rights standards.
The question of how to understand and protect human rights became very concrete during the conference when some of the participants gave witness about their personal experiences of violations of fundamental rights, e.g. the deprivation of freedom of opinion and expression, due to violence during civil war or persecution because of their Christian faith.
Speakers in the Conference, among others, were Archbishop Feofan of Berlin and Germany of the Moscow Patriarchate, Rev. Dr. h.c. Thomas Wipf, the President of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, and Rev. Rüdiger Noll, Director of the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches. The Conference was welcomed by Bishop Dr. h.c. Frank Otfried July from the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg. The participants in the conference expressed their intention to continue the dialogue in order to support the churches to strengthen their work in the human rights’ area. The conference in the Protestant Academy, Bad Boll, was co-organised by the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE), the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CSC of CEC), the Moscow Patriarchate and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Picture: CC/Wikimedia/Dr. Eugen Lehle