Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Russian trip part I: The Russian Spring...

On 5 April in the evening i was in a taxi driving me to my destination in Moscow. The taxi driver was a very friendly man although he could not speak English. "Ich bin ein Dumkopf" ("I'm a fool") he said in broken German and that was all he could say. He pointed to beautiful churches, the river 'Moskva' and we got into Moscow. While in most parts of Europe the Spring already has begun, in Moscow the weather was still cold and snowy.

From 8-10 April an important conference will take place. Recently, an initiative group was formed that would bring representatives, churches and people active in politics together to discuss how Christians could have more impact in their society, social-economy and politics. The name of the conference was: "Civic responsibility of a Christian for his Russian fatherland" and was organized in collaboration with the ECPM and the Dutch Reformed Party (SGP).

I arrived safely to my destination. The next day I slept out a bit and worked on my presentation and the preparations for the event. I talked with Ekaterina, the project coordinator for Russia and with Sergey, the Russian expert about Christian Democracy and one of the most active of the organization committee. The committee exists of five persons: Ekaterina, Sergej, father German, serving as priest from the Russian Orthodox Church, Vladimir, a colonel who served in Afghanistan and in the Balkans and Valeri a Christian business person who is active in the battle against corruption. The preparations went well and it looks quite promising.

Next day I had meetings with two important persons working in the Russian parliament. One was of more philosophical background and the other person was also connected more with the Russian orthodox church. Both they wanted to build bridges between the parliamentarian groups in the Russian Duma and the Christian values. We had a good discussion and also we talked about the meeting in the Russian parliament they wanted to organise the next day. In the afternoon Dutch senator Roel Kuiper arrived and joined us for dinner with the people from the organizing committee. Tomorrow the event will start.

When I arrived, the snow was melting.
Spring will start in Russia as well...!

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