Conference: We make Peace. Faith in Democracy.
The conference will be held on Monday, September 16th, one day after the International Day of Democracy, in the Conference Center of the Polin Museum.
Is freedom a gift or a curse of believers? Archbishop Wojciech Polak, Primate of the Roman-Catholic Church in Poland, Bishop Jerzy Samiec, head of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, Bishop Karin Johannesson of the Church of Sweden, Rabbi Małgorzata Kordowicz and Mufti Tomasz Miśkiewicz will provide answers during a debate.
Various perspectives and world views will also be presented during an earlier panel discussion on the impact of religion on democracy, which will feature such speakers as: Dr. Dominika Kozłowska, Editor-in-Chief of the Znak magazine, Aleksander Smolar, president of the Stefan Batory Foundation, Prof. Magdalena Środa, lecturer at the Warsaw University, Dr. Piotr Kładoczny, member of the board of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and Dr. Jerzy Sojka, lecturer at the Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw.
The conference will be opened by Bishop Jerzy Samiec and its co-organizer Dr Adam Bodnar, Commissioner for Human Rights. At the beginning, Polish translations of two documents prepared by Evangelical Church in Germany („Kościół ewangelicki i wolnościowa demokracja” [Evangelische Kirche und Freiheitliche Demokratie], „Konsensus i konflikt: polityka wymaga debaty. Dziesięć impulsów” [Konsens und Konflikt: Politik braucht Auseinandersetzung]) and one document released by the Lutheran World Federation („Kościół w przestrzeni publicznej” [The Church in the Public Space]) will be introduced and presented. The texts are the result of many years of reflection by the evangelical community and the treasure of the entire protestant theology. They return to the questions about the responsibility of Christians towards democracy, defending its values as well as peaceful, respectful treatment of different views and dispute resolution.
Through the presentation of documents, discussions and workshops, the conference is designed to stimulate the search for new methods of cooperation and action to promote mutual understanding. A solemn service in the Holy Trinity Church in Warsaw, organized on 15 September, will remind participants of the 80th anniversary of the tragic burning down of the church during the warfare in September 1939.
The morning workshops have been prepared by the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia. They will address issues such as the differentiation between truth and falsehood, accountability in peace efforts, opposition to hatred and the need to fight poverty. The debates will provide an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between the Church (religion) and democracy and the importance of freedom. The guests will include representatives of various circles, denominations and religions from Poland and abroad.
The project received financial support from the Lutheran World Federation, the Evangelical Church in Germany, the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Stefan Batory Foundation, and the German Embassy in Poland. Partners are also the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, the Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw, the Evangelical-Augsburg (Lutheran) Parish of the Holy Trinity, the Polish Ecumenical Council and the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia.
Admission to the event will be free, but registered participants will receive an additional free starter pack. Registration is open on the website of the Commissioner: link
Program in English
Program in English