Press Release No. 12/14

04.09.12 08:24

Ecojustice, Growth and Hope       
Every Crisis is a Window of Opportunity for Change

European Christian Environmental Network meets in the Netherlands

From 29 August to 2 September, the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) met in Elspeet, the Netherlands, for its 9th Assembly under the theme Ecojustice, Growth and Hope. The Dutch Ecumenical Council of Churches and the Noah Alliance hosted the Assembly with 98 participants from 22 countries.

The Assembly calls upon the Christian churches in Europe to be signs of hope in this time of multiple crises. The world financial crisis leads to growing economic problems, unequal access to resources generates increasing injustice internationally as well as within nations and regions, and the Earth's boundaries are under threat. The necessity to change current patterns of production and consumption, life style, and a transition to a sustainable and fair society is apparent and widely recognized.

In its Final Statement the Assembly underlines that: "More needs to be done, and that change is not coming quickly enough to lead our societies on to the path that could be sustained in the future." Therefore: "Churches should be engaged in structural change together with others in society. We may use our experiences with new and sustainable lifestyles to help to transform society at large, to accelerate the transformation to an 'economy of enough', and an 'economy of care'."

The statement emphasized that churches are apt to be agents of change at the local level, because of their tradition of values closely linked to a sustainable economy such as justice, simplicity, humility, rhythm of life, community building, faith, hope and love.

The Assembly clarified and discussed the first steps needed towards an ‘economy of care,’ as they were introduced by Prof. Opschoor and what are the basic principles of a faith based Christian approach to Ecojustice, as outlined in the key note input by Rev. Dave Bookless. The input by Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp underlined the necessity of acting together in taking care for creation by peoples of different faiths and convictions.

The Assembly underlined that hope and action must be the guiding principles in responding to multiple challenges of our world, since hubris as well as hopelessness and passive despair are against the will of God.


For more informatio please contact:
Dr. Peter Pavlovic
ECEN Secretary
Conference of European Churches
174,rue Joseph II BE-1000
Brussels Belgium
tel: 00 32 2 230 1732
fax: 00 32 2 231 1413