"Called to One Hope in Christ", the 13th Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, meets in the context of a Europe which is becoming increasingly diverse religiously, ethnically and linguistically. There are many positive consequences of this but there are also real concerns that human relationships are under strain and human freedoms are being restricted. These include growing misunderstandings between religious communities, religious discrimination and violation of religious freedom.
The last day of the session of the 13th Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) in Lyon, members of the Central Committee, the most important part of the CEC, were elected by secret voting. Thanks to the effort of our delegation , the SOC got two places in this Committee, where in nest 6 years, will directly decide in bringing decisions of this European organization. His Grace Bishop Grigorije of Zahumlje and Hercegovina and Julija Vidovic, Th.D. in Paris, were elected as the members of the Committee of the CEC.
Furthermore, the SOC delegation managed to explicitly add in the official public document of the Assembly of the CEC an issue of violating human rights of believers of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija, especially in the field of religious freedoms.
Of the 300 delegates, 41 are young people. 170 delegates are male, and 130 are female. 109 are lay people and 191 are ordained. There are 25 delegates who are black or from a minority ethnic group, or who are representing a migrant church.
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Fourth of July is a day when we join with people across this nation and around the world in the celebration of an historic achievement that exalted the necessity of human freedom and initiated a political and social environment filled with opportunity and potential. The United States of America, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, was "conceived in liberty," dedicated to the ideal of justice and equality for all, thus becoming a nation that broadened the scope and function of citizenship and of the meaning of belonging and community.
The Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
The Fourth pre-conciliar all-orthodox conference - which was organized by His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with the blessing of Their Graces Heads of local Orthodox Churches, expressed at their gathering at the Phanar from October 10-12, 2008 - was held at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambesy (Geneve) from June 6-12, 2009.