Appeal for respect for human rights

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28)

Appeal for respect for human rights

The global campaign "16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence" initiated in 1991 by the Center for Women's Global Leadership has recently gained particular significance in Poland. As Women’s Commission of the Synod and women in ministry (deacons) of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, we express our solidarity with the protesters after the judgment of the Constitutional Court on abortion. In this spirit, we appeal to the state authorities to uphold women's rights, including reproductive rights. We call for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, including enhanced efforts to raise public awareness of equal treatment and to disseminate anti-discrimination education. We call for support for NGOs fighting all forms of gender-based violence. Women's rights are an inalienable and integral part of human rights, so restricting women's freedom, and violence against women in particular, constitutes a violation of universal human rights.

Because of our history, the concept of freedom is of particular importance to Poland. Freedom applies not only about the sovereignty of our country but also to our personal freedom. The freedom of every human being is the fullest expression of human dignity. This freedom includes, above all, the freedom to decide for oneself and one’s life.

As we understand it, true freedom is linked to responsibility, which is expressed in respect of the rights and freedoms of others. "A Christian is a free lord over all things and subject to no-one; A Christian is a bound servant of all things and subject to everyone." (Martin Luther). According to this idea, human freedom always remains in relation to other people. If our freedom comes at the expense of the freedom of others, it turns into wilfulness and restricting the rights of others, and this is what we ‑ following Plato's example ‑ refer to as tyrant's freedom.

The year 2020 in the Lutheran Church in Poland is the Year of Christian Freedom. As we understand it, as Christians, we should feel called upon to build a community of free and equal sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ, and we should treat any attempt to restrict women's rights and belittle their role as a form unacceptable violence. Otherwise, our Christianity loses credibility.

Women’s Commission of the Synod and women in ministry of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland.