'Gott gab uns die Kraft der Liebe'

WGRK: Aufruf zur Nächstenliebe in Zeiten von Corona und Flüchtlingskrise


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Das Corona-Virus beschäftigt uns diese Tage wie kaum ein anderes Thema. Probleme wie die prekäre Lage von Flüchtlingen in Griechenland drohen dabei in Vergessenheit zu geraten. Die Weltgemeinschaft Reformierter Kirchen hat deshalb nun in einem Offenen Brief zu Freundschaft und Zusammenhalt aufgerufen.

Martina Wasserloos-Strunk, Präsidentin des europäischen Gebiets der Weltgemeinschaft Reformierter Kirchen, berichtet von nach wie vor schwierigen Verhältnissen an der Grenze Griechenland/Türkei. Das wirkt sich auch auf gesundheitliche Bedingungen aus. Zwar seien bislang wenige Fälle von Corona in den Flüchtlingslagern auf den griechischen Inseln bekannt. Allerding seien Krankheiten wie Mengitis teilweise stark verbreitet. Die medizinische Versorgung von Flüchtlingen ist laut Ärzte ohne Grenzen schwierig. Im Januar 2020 verwehrte demnach die griechische Regierung mindestens 140 Kindern mit chronischen, komplexen und lebensbedrohlichen Krankheiten im Lager Moria auf der Insel Lesbos die notwendige medizinische Versorgung.

Die Weltgemeinschaft Reformierter Kirchen ruft nun in einem Offenen Brief Mitgliedskirchen dazu auf, für Einheit, Freundschaft und Zusammenarbeit gemeinsam einzustehen. Der Text im Original:

 

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

In these days we are experiencing great uncertainty. The fight against the spread of the Coronavirus requires measures which have great affects on our daily life. The public life of many European countries is standing still. Experts want us to avoid our social contacts and we are all affected by the consequences of the Coronavirus.

As the Steering Committee of WCRC Europe, we call you to pray for those who are suffering from the situation especially the sick persons and their families. Let us also pray for those whose health puts them at higher risk and for those who are facing major changes in their lives.

In this crisis it is important to remember that we are not alone, and with Christ we have the power to stay strong:

“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind.”

With this confidence we are able to accept the challenge of our current situation and search for ways to help those who are extremely affected. As we see already in some European countries, we can build a community without direct contact and we can look for a common spirit of hope and practical ideas of creativity to overcome this crisis.

Even as the Coronavirus crisis is escalating, we must not forget about the refugees in Europe, especially those who are in Greece. A few weeks ago, the President of the European region of WCRC, Martina Wasserloos, the Treasurer, Kerstin Koch and the Vice President, Dimitris Boukis visited Athens and the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios seeing people suffering from the current situation. On the islands, children, women and men live in terrible conditions. Often, they don’t have water or electricity, and the eminent danger of the coming epidemic is extremely high. The refugees are waiting for a solution for their situation. All the while the citizens of the Greek islands are overwhelmed with the current situation and are expecting assistance from the European Union, including a political solution. We saw a Europe full of selfishness and violence in its politics and not the Europe of peace, we are committed to.

In Athens, we visited “Faros”, the center for the accommodation and education of unaccom- panied refugee teenagers, which WCRC Europe had supported with educational funds. We experienced both the passion of their personnel and their hopeful anticipation for the posi- tive impact this experience had on the more than 60 beneficiaries so far. We realized that there was an imminent need for more similar centers and learning projects for the “unseen generation” of the unaccompanied refugee teens.

During our time visiting these centers we truly saw that God was beside those who were suffering. In Athens, Lesvos and Chios we could recognize in the face of the refugees the im- age of our living God. He comes from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and other countries.

As Christians, we have to raise our voices for the people who are suffering and those who are forgotten behind our own challenges. We have to raise our voices as well for those who become victims of political machinations. Please do not forget those who are suffering.

Therefore we call you — even in times of uncertainty — to urge your governments to search for a solution for the refugees in Greece.
We encourage European churches to take up their calling as ambassadors of Christ, to raise their voices in unity, friendship and solidarity to those in need and never resting in our pur - suit towards a peaceful humanity.

As we trust in God, the creator of all humanity, in Jesus Christ, who redeemed us, and the Holy Spirit, who broadens our horizons.

Eine neue Internetseite informiert über die Aktivitäten der im Entstehen begriffenen World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), dem Zusammenschluss von Reformiertem Weltbund (WARC) und Reformiertem Ökumenischen Rat (REC).

Barbara Schenck

Größeres Risiko von Gewalt gegen Frauen in der ökonomischen Krise

Der Reformierte Weltbund zum Internationalen Frauentag am 8. März
Geneva (ENI). Women are at higher risk of violence during the current economic crisis, yet the world is paying less attention to their needs, says the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. In a statement to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Reformed churches alliance expresses concern that violent crimes against women, particularly rape and domestic violence, are on the rise at the same time that support for programmes to protect women is under threat. "The world seems to have become almost immunised to the stench of violence against women," said Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, WARC's spokesperson on gender issues, in the 5 March statement.

Barbara Schenck

Churches told to confront ''moral crisis'' in the world economy

''Where are the prophetic voices of the churches?''
The multiple crises confronting the world are fundamentally a moral crisis says the president of the United Nations General Assembly. In remarks recorded for a public hearing on reconciliation in Geneva, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann asks, ''But where are the prophetic voices of the churches today?''

Setri Nyomi zum Internationalen Jahr der Versöhnung 2009

Generalsekretär des Reformierten Weltbundes warnt vor dem Ausschluss von Immigranten und Minderheiten
Geneva (ENI). Immigrants and minorities in affluent countries are becoming targets of exclusion at a time when the global economic system is facing strains, a global Protestant leader has warned at a gathering in the Swiss city of Geneva. "There has been a resurgence of hate crimes against minorities in a number of nations," said the Rev. Setri Nyomi, general secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, at a 19 February meeting to mark the International Year of Reconciliation proclaimed by the United Nations for 2009.

Barbara Schenck

WARC welcomes statements made at the World Social Forum in Brazil

Reformierter Weltbund begrüßt die Stellungnahmen des Weltsozialforums
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) has issued a statement of support in response to a declaration by a representative of the World Council of Churches (WCC) that the global economic crisis offers an opportunity to create a more just financial system.

Quelle: Reformierter Weltbund, 2. Februar 2009

RWB Kommunikation: neue Chefin

Kristine Greenaway: moderne Kommunikationstechniken verbinden
Der Reformierte Weltbund (RWB) hat den leitenden Posten in der Abteilung Kommunikation neu besetzt: Frau Kristine Greenaway von der Vereinigten Kirche von Kanada hat am 5. Januar die Arbeit in der Genfer Zentrale aufgenommen. Sie ersetzt somit John Asling, der die Stelle bis Ende Dezember 2008 innehatte.

Quelle: Internetseite Reformierter Weltbund (RWB)

End the Violence in Gaza

''The rockets from Gaza aimed at Israeli communities are destructive and the suicide bombing incidents cannot be condoned ... We strongly condemn the air and ground assaults from the Israeli Defense Forces leading to senseless deaths ...'' (Reformierter Weltbund)

Pressemitteilung des Reformierten Weltbundes (WARC), 7. Januar 2009

Die Schweiz und die Einigung Europas

SEK für Ausdehnung der Personenfreizügigkeit
Der Schweizerische Evangelische Kirchenbund (SEK) spricht sich für die Weiterführung und die Ausdehnung des Freizügigkeitsabkommens zwischen der Schweiz und der Europäischen Gemeinschaft auf Rumänien und Bulgarien aus.

Medienmitteilung der SEK, Simon Weber, 8. Januar 2009

Gemeinsame Grundsätze zur Pfarrerausbildung

Die theologischen Fortbildung von Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrern soll auch intensiviert werden
Mit einer Konsultation vom 20.-23. November 2008 in Berlin hat die Gemeinschaft Evangelischer Kirchen in Europa (GEKE) einen Prozess zur Verständigung über gemeinsame Grundsätze zur Pfarrerausbildung begonnen.

24.11.2008 Thomas Flügge, GEKE

The Legacy of John Calvin

Some action for the Church in the 21st Century
Eine Broschüre des Reformierten Weltbundes und des internationalen reformierten John Knox Zentrums informiert über Theologie und soziale Anliegen Johannes Calvins und regt von seinem Werk ausgehend an zu „life-giving action“ im 21. Jahrhundert. Die Broschüre ist in englischer Sprache erschienen.

Barbara Schenck