Christian ENCOUNTERS is a European event with a background!
Following the fall of the Iron Curtain, Protestant Christians from the Lutheran churches in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic created a meeting point for the first time in 1991. Even more than 25 years on from that first initiative, central European Protestant churches continue to meet every three years, each time in a different country. To date, these events have been held in Görlitz, Niesky, Wisła, Český Těšín, Prague, Bratislava, Dresden, Wrocław and Budapest.
The three Protestant churches in Austria – the Protestant Church A.C., the Protestant Church H.C. and the United Methodist Church in Austria – are issuing a joint invitation to Christian Encounters 2020. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Graz-Seckau is co-organising the event.
Graz is the capital of the Austrian region of Styria. Besides being one of Europe’s Reformation cities, it was and remains to this day a hive of ecumenical activity. In 1997, the city hosted the Second European Ecumenical Assembly, which issued the “Charta Oecumenica”, a direction-setting document that reinforced the ecumenical focus of the events, exchange and multi-religious dialogue conducted by European churches. The sphere of churches involved in Christian Encounters has expanded to draw participants from nine different countries to the capital city of Styria.
Graz is poised to once again bridge the gap between eastern, western and southern Europe!
Statement about Christian ENCOUNTERS
“For me personally, ‘face to face’ means looking properly into each other’s eyes and – if possible – also into everyday life. Not staying hidden away behind a keyboard, but engaging with other people. Escaping the virtual bubble, where I am always right, and entering into dialogue, where I have to be open to the truth perceived by others.”