Monday, December 31, 2012

Personal message for the New Year

“One thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, press on towards what is ahead, press on towards what is ahead, press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Today it is the 31st of December. The year 2012 has almost come to a close. Usually it is a time to reflect on what happened this year, our achievements, but also our challenges; our happy, but also our sad times. The apostle Paul teaches us, however, how we have to evaluate our times and how to look forward to the next year. He asks us not to stick to what is behind. Sometimes bad experiences or issues that hurt us can block us and stick us to the past. We remain in the past and we do not want to look forward anymore. On the other hand, previous achievements can also make us so satisfied that we do not look forward anymore. The apostle Paul asked us to strain forwards, and even to press on towards what is ahead. These are valuable things  to think about at the end of the year and to press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Jesus Christ. We have to go for it, to establish our targets and to look for ways to realize the plans God has put in our hearts and to win the prize which God has called me to. It is so encouraging that we do not have to do it alone, but that God is with us to help and bless us.

2012 has been a special year for me. God gave a lot of blessings. The work and network of the ECPM grew and more and more people became interested in promoting the values of Jesus in the political field. I was able to travel to many countries and it is encouraging to see that so many initiatives are taken by our local partners to promote amongst others Christian Democratic values, family values, reconciliation and human dignity. A special highlight has been the launch of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute in Rome, that aims to promote the fact that we are created in the image and likeness of God and that human life should be protected from conception till natural death. Another impressive event for me was a conference organized by students in Sarajevo, where Christian and Muslim young leaders were discussing together about the basic values of cultural diversity and reconciliation, a theme that also came back at the Economic, Diplomacy and Integrity Forum organized in Croatia. Another focus of the year has been on family values. Important conferences were organized in Montenegro and Poland. It was also a blessing to participate in different national Parliamentary Prayer Breakfasts like the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, the first prayer breakfast in the Republic of Moldova, and the prayer breakfast in Latvia. At the Romanian Prayer Breakfast I was invited to read a key passage from the Holy Scriptures.  

But 2012 was also a year of challenges. For Romania, it was a dark political year with many political conflicts and battles. In the summer, the society became more and more divided by two camps and the political debates were hardened. Even the organization of a conference about “Democracy from theory to practice” has not been that easy and focused more about the outcome of the referendum than to the need to look towards the future and the common good. We pray for a better future and a politics based on understanding of the will of the Romanian people and the common good, respecting and tolerating also political differences. 

Also the battles against Christian influences in politics continue and are unfortunately getting worse. My name, picture and personal details appeared in the Black list of “European Anti-Choice Personalities”, issued by the European Parliamentary Forum for Population and Control. Besides, a whole sneering campaign has been launched against the new European Commissioner from Malta not based on his competences but based on his personal beliefs. Fortunately, he has been chosen by a broad majority. Also in the Netherlands, the word “religion stress” has been introduced. It reflects the increasing trend to remove all religion expressions from the public sphere. The Dutch national public television had to be reformed because “religion should be only behind your closed door” and the civil servant who is not able to marry a same-sex couple because of conscience objection is now called a “refuser” and a legislative proposal is to be expected to oblige the civil servant to marry these couples. Also the shops should be open in Holland on Sunday because of the removal of the Christian heritage in the society. The fact that many Small and Medium Sized Entrepreneurs will be sacrificed with this, is not a problem.  

Also in other countries there is an increasing trend of intolerance against Christians as the country reports of the Observatory of Intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe show us. Therefore with help of our partners and friends, I initiated a motion for a resolution to investigate the intolerance against Christians in Europe. Recently, this got the report status. Other initiatives where I have been involved is the motion for a resolution in the Council of Europe to tackle the problem of legalized prostitution because of the increased human trafficking by introducing the Swedish model and the battle against an intolerant anti-discrimination legislative proposal in the Moldovan Republic.  

Many more things have happened this year, but I would like to limit to these items. However as we saw in the beginning, the apostle Paul asked us not to look to the past, but to look to the future. Also in 2013 we have to focus on the target that God puts in our hearts and to go forward, looking on what He has asked us to do. The year 2012 has been also a year of challenges, of attacks also personally. However, also in this respect, God asks us to look forward and to continue the vision He puts in my heart.  

I pray that God will be with you, guide and protect you next year and will provide you with health and prosperity that you will need in order to do His Will and to fulfill the vision and dreams He puts in your heart!

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