Saturday, December 24, 2011

Personal Christmas and New Year's wish

Click on the picture to read my Christmas and New Year's Wish

ECPM and ECPYN take action towards the Belarusian Ambassadors

On 23 December, the ECPM and its youth association the ECPYN sent an open letter to the Belarusian ambassadors. Based on the latest developments, both organisations are very worried about the unexpected detentions of political activists that occurred this week. One year after the peaceful demonstrations, followed by extremely harsh measures by the Belarusian authorities, it looks like similar tactics are being used again by the Belarusian government to silence members of the opposition. The open letter is listed below

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Report about the 4th constituency congress of the Belarusian Christian Democrats

On Saturday, 17 December, the party Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) held its fourth Constituent Congress in Minsk. The congress gathered 108 delegated from all over Belarus and more than 350 guests, including heads and representatives of diplomatic missions from Great Britain, USA, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and guests from Austria, Hungary, Ukrain and Russia. Pavel Sieviarynets, the BCD co-chairman, accused to three years of labour camp, regretfully, could not be present at the Congress and the president Vital Rymasheuski was detained shortly after the congress. Fortunately Vital was released after spending five hours at the police. The BCD therefore strongly requested to release and the rehabilitation of Pavel and the 13 other political prisoners: Ales Bialiatski, Andrei Sannikau, Dzimtry Bandarenka, Mikalai Statkevich, Dzmitry Dashkevich, Eduard Lobau, Mikalai Autukhovich, Yauhen Vaskovich, Ihar Alinevich, Aliaksandr Frantskevich, Mikalaj Dziadok, Artsiom Prakapenka and Pavel Syramalotau. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Christmas message during the Romanian Prayer Breakfast, in the Palace of Parliament 8 December 2011

On 8 December, the national Romanian Prayer Breakfast took place in the Palace of Parliament in Romania. This event was organized by the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies and the Ecumenical Prayer Group of the Romanian Parliament in collaboration with the ECPM. I was invited to share a Biblical message. Please find the text of my message here

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Leo van Doesburg, ECPM Representative in Eastern Europe, receives Award for Freedom of Religion and Conscience

The second Conscience and Freedom Award Gala took place in Timisoara, Romania, on the 3rd of December 2011. The event is organized by the Conscience and Freedom Association in collaboration with the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, Religious Affairs and National Minorities, and aims to honor individuals who have espoused, established, defended and promoted the cause of freedom of religion and conscience throughout Romania. Recipients of the Conscience and Freedom Award include politicians, academics, activists, writers, religious leaders, diplomats, scholars and other individuals with inspiring stories, who were involved in defending and promoting religious freedom and conscience through their activities, writings, legislative initiatives or acts of courage. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

UN International Court of Justice rules against Greece in Macedonia case

The world court ruled Monday that Greece was wrong to block Macedonia's bid to join NATO in 2008 because of a long-running dispute over the fledgling country's use of the name Macedonia. you can download the judgement and the summary of the judgement here. You can find more information below

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Elections in Croatia 4 December: HRAST focuses on a healthy economic program, respect for family and human dignity

Tomorrow, 4 December, parliamentarian elections will take place in Croatia. I have been several times in Croatia. The country faced quite a turbulence in their political situation. The corruption, difficult economic situation and also the accession to the European Union caused a lot of uncertainties for the people of Croatia (also shown by many demonstrations this year). This resulted in a decrease of trust in their leaders and parliament. However. I was very impressed by the new political party HRAST. This party is focused on basic Christian Democratic values and finds basic values like human dignity (protection for life from conception until natural death) and family values of main importance. However, this does not mean that they neglect other important areas. In October they organized an important conference about "Croatian economic perspectives" where the situation of the Croatian economy and the economic program of HRAST was discussed. Together with Dutch Christian Union senator and expert Peter Ester I participated to this event

Please find the report of this meeting made by HRAST representative Slavko Vukmanov below.