So then let us pursue what makes for peace

Consultations with authorities of five evangelical Churches from Central and Eastern Europe were held on 17 September 2019 at the Lutheran Center in Warsaw.

Participants from the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in the Czech Republic: rev. Daniel Ženatý (president of the Church Council), Pavel Pokorny (vice-president of the Church Council), Olivier Engelhardt (head of the Ecumenical Department), from the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic: bishop Tomasz Tyrlik (leader of the Church); from the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia bishop Ivan Elko (leader of the Church), rev. Eva Oslikova (head of Women’s Ministry), rev. Jan Ruman (senior of the Novohrad Seniorate), Andrej Kuruc (Ecumenical Officer); from the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland: bishop Jerzy Samiec (leader of the Church), Adam Pastucha (vice-president of the Consistory), Anna Wrzesińska (international officer), Ewa Śliwka (head of the Consistory Office); from the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary: bishop Tamas Fabiny (leader of the Church), Gergerly Prӧhle (vice-president of the Consistory), Klara Tarr (head of the Ecumenical Department).

The meeting addressed the conference "We make peace", which took place the day before in the Polin Museum, and was organized by the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Republic of Poland and the Commissioner for Human Rights.

Participants of the consultation stressed how important it is for Lutheran churches from the region, which share a geographical location and a common history, to communicate and exchange experiences. It is also important to raise their common voice, because as minority Churches they have different topics and problems.

At the end of the meeting, Church leaders signed a joint declaration in which they underlined their desire to strengthen friendship and cooperation in the region in order to bear witness to the faith, hope and love that stem from the liberating and healing power of God's grace expressed in the risen Christ. They declared their willingness to protect Creation and to contribute to the peaceful coexistence of people, nations and religions in Europe. Referring to the conference, the declaration recalls that its signatories support the principles of democracy and the rule of law because Christians are called upon to uphold the values of truth, peace, freedom, justice, mercy, human dignity and respect for minorities.

The signatories expressed their desire to apply and develop the principles of law and democracy in their own structures, so that the voice of the Church with its prophetic testimony could be heard. They pointed out that as children of the same Father they wanted to pursue dialogue in a spirit of mutual respect and without violence, to work for peace and to care for a respectful culture of expression in society and in the new media. They also expressed their willingness to carry out the mission of following Christ and proclaiming the Gospel of peace and hope - in the society, caring for and defending those who are excluded and disadvantaged.

The next consultation, planned for October 2020 in the Czech Republic, will focus on the subject of family.