Saturday, December 24, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
My Christmas message during the Romanian Prayer Breakfast, in the Palace of Parliament 8 December 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Leo van Doesburg, ECPM Representative in Eastern Europe, receives Award for Freedom of Religion and Conscience
Monday, December 5, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Elections in Croatia 4 December: HRAST focuses on a healthy economic program, respect for family and human dignity
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Large response for the conference: "Beyond individualism" that will take place in London 25-26 November 2011. If you want to participate, register now!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
If you need more information, please send me an email to: email@example.com
Participation to the Prayer Breakfast has to be confirmed only after registration and reviewing by the organizers.
Please find more information below
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Conference about “the active and positive role of Minorities in Serbia-Voivodina in the Serbian EU integration process
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
My message at the conference on the Positive-Active Role of Vojvodina-Serbian Minorities in the Serbian EU Integration Process”, in Vrsac (Serbia), on 29th October 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The Association of Christian Democrats in Eastern Europe shows their concern about the situation in Belarus
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
(Source: Gregor Puppinck, PhD, Director of the ECLJ, European Center for Law and Justice)
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Victory for Human Dignity: protection of the human embryo in judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice
On October 18, 2011, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice has released its judgment in the human patentability case that was pending now for several years.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
The second day aimed to go even deeper into the way Christian values can be implemented better in the political field. The party therefore organized a special forum for Christian politicians with the theme “Christian values in a globalized world.”
Thursday, October 6, 2011
This holds true even for the frequent claim that access to abortion should be provided for health, privacy, sexual autonomy or non-discrimination reasons.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Stop torture of Dzmitry Dashkevich!
The health and life of the young political leader and sincere Christian is in serious danger.
We demand to end to torture of Dzmitry Dashkevich! We demand the immediate release of all political prisoners and their full rehabilitation!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The online publication is in eBook format. You can just click on the publication and when the second window opens you can turn the pages by clicking on the arrow.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Urges States to Combat Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in the West
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
In Romania, a divorce can be finalised within one month. A recent article in the New York Times shed light on this phenomenon when it told the story of an Italian couple who had established a short-term residence in Romania only to get divorced more quickly than would be possible in Italy. In Romania, a couple without children who are seeking a divorce, must sign a divorce form in front of a notary. The two then have 30 days to withdraw the divorce request and after that, if the divorce is consensual, a notary can end the marriage. Previously, couples had to go to court to get divorced. Law firms abroad have taken advantage of this and started to offer the service to foreign nationals, according to the New York Times.
Arranging a divorce in Italy is a long-term affair. Spouses must have been separated for a minimum of three years. After factoring in legal processes, the divorce can take up to four years. Meanwhile, if the split is not consensual, it can easily take 10.
“Spain, France and Britain are also divorce destinations, but Romania is known as cheaper and easier,” the New York Times reported.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
This article that I wrote together with Anca Bulica (policy officer Care for Europe) gives a deep analysis about the situation in Moldova and will be published in a special ECPM publication about "the freedom of faith and conscience" in the beginning of August.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
(Source European Dignity Watch: www.Europeandignitywatch.org)
Friday, June 10, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Slovenia part 2 (of 2): about lobby groups, undemocratic means, interference in internal politics and the beautiful surroundings
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
In his first interview after his release Pavel Sieviarynets said he did not recognize the sentence as fair. He will fight for the liberation of other , in particular already today he is going to visit a number of courts. When asked about tortures Pavel confessed that for him personally the most severe torture was spiritual when he was not allowed to attend church and meet with a priest.
Now within three days Sieviarynets needs to return to the place of his residence in Vitebsk and wait for the transfer to a labour camp. After liberation Pavel immediately went to the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Minsk. In the KGB prison he asked for a meeting with a priest more than 10 times. Pavel Sieviarynets was accused of organizing and active participating activities that breach public order (Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code).He was arrested on presidential elections and since then he was kept in the KGB prison in Minsk. directly after the
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Irish priest complains about missing Christian holidays
Every year, the European Commission produces the Europa Diary for students in secondary schools in the EU. It serves as a tool for homework and other notes. The edition for the school year 2010/2011 was distributed to more than three million students.
In January 2011, an Irish priest complained to the Ombudsman that the Commission had omitted Christian holidays, such as Easter and Christmas, while including holidays of other religions in the diary. He claimed that the Commission should apologise for the error and recall the already distributed edition for 2010/2011.
In February 2011, the Ombudsman informed the complainant that the Commission had published an apology for what it called the regrettable error of omitting Christian holidays in the diary on its website. Furthermore, the Commission sent a corrigendum to all teachers who had ordered the 2010/2011 edition. It included a one-page addition to the diary showing the main public holidays of the EU Member States.
In the Ombudsman's view, the actions which the Commission took to rectify the error were reasonable. He further considered that it would be disproportionate to reprint the 2010/2011 edition. Accordingly, the Ombudsman closed the case without further inquiries.
The Ombudsman's complete decision is available at: http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/cases/decision.faces/en/10259/html.bookmark
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
They suggested to organize a conference in the Russian Parliament, an interparliamentarian conference to discuss human dignity within the Russian context. If there is central approval, they would like to organise this in collaboration with the ECPM.
I took the night plane to a whole other destination: Kyrgyzstan, the last destination for this journey.
The first greeting was from the vice president of the 'Center for Slavic Culture and Literature' where the three days' event was hosted. This was followed by a Christian entrepreneur who explained that though there were many pressures, he tried to remain integer. He called the business people up not to be involved in corruption but to form a kind of Christian business club (he called it a parallel economy) where businesses were committed together to remain clean. His speech was followed by a councillor of a community in Russia. He explained the pressure that many business people face. He was not only mentioning about the obligations to pay not only high "taxes" back to the government, but also that because of false corrupt judges many honest business people were falsely accused and end up in prison. His list and his fights against a corrupted regime shocked also the participants.
In the evening a closing cocktail took place. Henkjan and I gave some Dutch presents to the organising committee and the volunteers. The Swedish buffet was received well. A businessman took care for good wine, the catering was well and a bucket of red caviar was quite finished in the end of the evening. The reactions of the participants were very enthusiastic.
"This is not enthusiasm, but this is hope" explained Ekaterina me. Another participant told me that since the '90s he cannot remember this sphere of friendship and hope for the future. It was special to have such a group from all layers of the society and of different religions together: eating, praying and discussing together how the Russian society can be changed and build on Christian Social values and based on Human Dignity. "We are too long treated as objects" said some participant to me, "it would be time to go back to our base of human dignity as it is written in the Holy Scripture". Special was also the gratitude given to Ekaterina, "the mother of the movement", who built the bridges and created the unity in the team.
This was an impressive end of the conference. Henkjan would leave in the morning. I still will have the next day with the representatives of the parliament and the initiation committee to look how we could serve the initiatives further.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Easter is for me always a time also of self-reflection. This first thing that comes in my mind is Gods Love. This great love that God has for us is humanly speaking very hard to understand. He sent His Son to the earth. There He suffered, He was humiliated, tortured and finally killed. Finally Jesus was left alone by everyone: by His friends, by the people of Israel (whom He loved so much) and even by God His Father Himself! Carrying His Cross through the streets of Jerusalem. The cursed wood that would bring Him to death. If I see to this love of God, I wonder myself: "What is man that you are mindful of him; the son of man that you care for him" (Psalm 8:4), Because, who are we? Who are these sons of man? The mankind who exist of small, proud, unthankful and also evil people. We do not destroy only Gods Creation, but also ourselves and our fellow "sons of man" because of selfish motivation and captured by evil whose only motivation is to hurt and bring sufferings to others
However, God loves us, wants to save us and offer us a new beginning: a relationship that goes beyond the death. He wants to give us a future and eternal perspective! If I see this solidarity, then I think, that the world would be much better if we value the people around us as God did. I wish that the message of Easter will motivate us to have also feel the solidarity for the people around us. Jesus did not die only for the or for the poor, not only for white or colored people, nor only for female or male. Jesus message is the same for everyone! That is the real meaning of human dignity!
I will pray that the Easter message of solidarity and compassion will reflect in our own lives: based on the love for God and for the people around us. I hope therefore that the day of Good Friday, the day of Jesus' sufferings, will bring us to humbleness and will lead us to bow our knees, to look honestly to ourselves, and to pray to our heavenly God for forgiveness and salvation. In this way we are able to lift our cross together with Jesus and to leave our burden behind us so that we will see the Light of Resurrection Day. Jesus is not death, but He is alive and He should live further in our hearts!
With all my heart I wish you all a blessed, joyful and inspiring Easter!
Leo van Doesburg
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Interesting was that here in Moscow also a Leo and a Kuiper explained the basics of Christian Democracy. Christians always have been focused on the creation of communities and he wondered if the societies have become not too much based on contracts and less on covenants. The difference between a contract and a covenant is that the latter is focused on an agreement and a commitment for a longer sustainable time. Contracts are business like, short time oriented. In his eyes, moral capital is more important than social capital. Christian justice should be therefore be based on "shalom" and "cheset": justice but also taken the person into consideration!
During his speech, the translator made a hilarious mistake when Roel referred to my speech the day before saying: "Leo explained about..." which was translated with "pope Leo explained". Since then many people have called me ... "Papa Leo" ....
Not long after the speech of Roel Kuiper, Henkjan van Schorthorst (from the Dutch Reformed Party (SGP)) gave a clear explanation about how the European Union (dis)functions and why Christians were called to enter the European politics.
After the break opinions concerning politics were shared. There was even a speaker explaining recovering a monarchy based on Romanov blood. However the participants were not very agreeing with him and this let to some argumentations. After this an emotional discussion about the state of Russian democracy took place. There was a lot of dissatisfaction concerning the current regime and people spoke freely about this. One person was afraid that a new revolution will take place if nothing will be done by the civil society. The spirit of revolution is in Russian air, because people have reached their limit of tolerance toward corruption and social injustice; and there is not any publicity instrument availabel for people would share their concerns. It is the task of the new movement to unite peaceful and democratic forces in order to change the society in a positive way.
Alexander Ogorodnikov told about the Christian Democratic Movement in the 90's and the challenges and depressions they faced. An emotional discussion took place about the reasons why this movement finally failed and the absence of a clear support of the orthodox church for the movement. Others said that the failure was due to the fact that it was not the right time, the movement was too much focused on relations with the West and leas to the situation of the country and a lack of experience. However all the participants were agreeing that now the timing is much better and that this new initiative is carried much broader.
In the evening Henkjan, Ekaterina and me were invited for dinner from the patriarchate. Also Father Nicholas was present.
The first day was about society, the second day about politics, tomorrow it will be about Christian business and the conclusions of the conference will be drafted.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Although I thought that the lecture I gave might be long and somehow heavy in the morning, the reactions were enormous encouraging. Father Nicholai said that he was very encouraged about the things that have been said and that it was for him very good because it was also the direction the Russian orthodox church wanted to follow. "What you have said will have much more impact you will think and you will see the fruits" he added. Besides him someone said that he was encouraged that the Christian ideas I shared were so fitting with the Russian culture that this should be a base of a renewed friendship between Russia and Western Europe, because it is focused on ideas of the old Europe of some centuries ago, when these Christian values were the base of friendships amongst countries. Many people came to offer me books and the advisor of the chairman of the Senate of the Russian State Duma explained me that he would like to be in touch with me to look how these principles could be implemented in the Duma.
In the afternoon we went to the Russian State Duma where we met Father Nicholas, representatives of the 'United Russia' party and two representatives of the Parliament. The delegation from our side existed of senator Roel Kuiper (ChristianUnion, NL), Henk Jan van Schorthorst(Dutch Reformed Party (SGP), NL), Ekaterina and me. We had a good and constructive discussion about possibilities to promote values of human dignity in the State Duma and they were open for the idea to start a Human dignity group within the Russian Parliament. They were also interested in sharing information about how to deal with challenges of a multicultural society with different religions (relation between Muslims and Christians in some areas of Russia). A following up with the representatives of United Russia was planned to discuss concrete plans.
This meeting was followed by a lunch in the Parliament. After the lunch I had a meeting with another Member of Parliament who is member of the foreign affairs committee and member of the Parliamentarian Assembly of the Council of Europe. As a promoter for Christian values within this Council, we discussed about ways how Russia could play a role in protecting the traditional values in Europe. It was a constructive and good meeting.
Then we went back to the Orthodox Center for Slavic culture and languages where the conference was continuing in the mean time. It was good to see and speak with Alexander Ogorodnikov who is already an old friend of mine and we updated each other about our activities. He was a Russian dissident in Soviet times and was one of the founders of the Christian Democratic movement that existed in the 1990s. We talked as well about the fact that we already discussed for times about restarting such a movement, and that it seemed to be the moment now.
In the evening a nice dinner banquet was prepared for the most important guests. Many toasts were given. Roel Kuiper gave an inspiring toast and I gave the final toast about the importance to follow Jesus footsteps as Christian in the society where not power but impact is most important. It was interesting that although people came from different areas (mostly from Moscow and St Petersburg) and from different church background (protestant, orthodox), everyone found himself connected in this vision.