International gathering in Kiev to defend and promote Christian values in Europe

Last week more than 500 people gathered in Kiev (Ukraine) for an International conference to defend and promote Christian values in Europe. The conference “Cooperation of Politicians and Civil Society in the Promotion of Christian Values on the International Arena” took place in the Ukrainian capital and was organized by the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM) and the factional Parliamentary Group “for spirituality, morality and health for the Ukraine”.

Politicians, representatives of NGOs, journalists and civil servants, and other experts discussed on the issue of the Promotion of Christian Values and the ways the collaboration between decision makers, academics and civil society can become more effective.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 16.55.00 Ukrainian MP Pavel Unguryan (the main organizer of the event) opened the forum thanking the ECPM for their collaboration and support and highlighted the aim of the forum: how to promote Christian values and how to develop international collaboration between politicians and civil society.

 Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 16.53.59 Leo van Doesburg, ECPM director for European Affairs,  underlined his strongly held belief that there can be no future for Europe without Christian values, citing the example of the founding fathers of the EU (Schuman, Adenauer, De Gasperi) and the values they instilled in the European project. He also remarked that Central and Eastern European countries are faced with pressures to enact legislation that can act against their Christian values of the definition of marriage and family and the protection of life and dignity.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 16.52.21 Luca Volontè (Honorary President of EPP in PACE, President of EPP in PACE (2009-2013), Director of the “Nova Terrae Foundation”) underlined the significance of the definition of marriage and urged participants not to waver against attacks.  He also mentioned the recently launched European Citizens Initiative called: “Mum, Dad and Kids” stating the definition of family is not an EU competence, but that the only institution of famly which is recognized by all EU memberstates is the institution of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 16.57.46Antoine Renard (President of the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe – FAFCE) spoke on the importance of the institution of Family and defended its definition as a union between on man and one woman for life.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 17.01.19 Also our editor, Marco Gombacci gave an insight from his experience from the media. He noted that very often European Media are hesitant to report certain news (e.g.: on the persecution of Christians) simply because they think it is “not cool“. He urged forum participants to stand against this attitude.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 17.27.00Antoine Mellado (Director of the European Division of World Youth Alliance) spoke about the diffuculties young people are facing because state institutions are trying to take the place of the family. “Family should be protected and nurtured, not substituted.” He added that because state institutions are trying to take the place of the family. “family should be protected and nurtured, not substituted.”

On the final day of the Conference, a Declaration on the Establishment of the European Christian Coalition was mentioned. In this Declaration, the signatories proclaim thatChristianity is a core factor in the spiritual, legal and cultural development of Europe“, a cornerstone of its identity that “has defined the essence and character of its civilization”. The European Christian Coalition aims to strengthen the cooperation “for the promotion of Christian values in Europe, and the development of effective strategies for further joint action”.