On March 12-13, 2021, an online meeting of the IXE - The Initiative of Christians for Europe, an association of lay organizations and committed Christians from different European countries, took place. Feeling responsible for building a fairer world, the participants discussed important issues of peacebuilding, environmental protection, inequality and social justice. The meeting resulted in a joint statement calling to respond immediately to the climate crisis and to join forces to contribute together to “ecological and social justice and peace, becoming one single human family”.

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During the meeting, the honorary guests Dr. Barbara Hendricks, a member of the German Bundestag, former Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety of Germany, Dr. Clemens Ladenburger, Chief Legal Adviser to the European Commission, shared their views on the role of the Church and Christian communities in solving environmental problems, what is the role of the EU in overcoming the climate crisis, etc.

“Linking poverty, wealth and ecology, Pope Francis stated that climate change, global poverty and inequality are impeding the foundation of the common home. We are called and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to enjoy the beauty of our planet; to cherish value and dignity in all creation and to reconcile nature and humanity, embracing our responsibility to care for creation...

Neither in pandemic nor in climate crisis can anybody be saved alone. We recognize that efforts at the individual and community level are indispensable and instead of falling back to our previous habits, we are called to convert to a positive approach to living sustainably during and after the pandemic. Let us rediscover the values of frugality and simplicity. Let us seize the opportunities of ecological conversion and explore new ways of living together. We must contribute to ecological and social justice and peace, becoming one single human family”, "the statement said.

The event was also attended by Dr. Pavlo Smytsnyuk, Director of the UCU Institute of Ecumenical Studies. The IES project – “Ecumenical Social Week”, is part of the IXE network and for 14 years has been uniting the faithful of Ukraine around solving current problems of Ukraine and the world.

The Initiative of Christians for Europe (IXE) is an association of lay organizations and committed Christians from different European countries. General concern of IXE is to incorporate a more vivid awareness of a united Europe in the national debates. The initiative aims at fostering the encounter of Christians in Europe and to promote the Social Doctrine of the Church in order to achieve a better mutual knowledge and understanding of historical and cultural differences. More information: www.initiative-ixe.eu.