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Towards a Vision of Europe - Challenges before us

49. This awareness must make us modest, but hopefully it will also help us to be more attentive to the challenges before us, in the processes of transformation Europe is now going through.

50. Fifty years after the beginning of the Second World War, we are now witnessing a growing desire to overcome the divisions of Europe. Both within and between our countries, many people - including many Christians - are criticizing these structures for not sufficiently guaranteeing both justice and peace, and for being unsuitable for responding with visor and imagination to the threats to creation.

51. Three important and momentous developments call for special attention:

  • the improvement of East-West relations in the CSCE process;
  • the democratic reforms in the Soviet Union and other East European countries;
  • the process of Western European integration (Single European Act, which takes full effect as of the beginning of 1993).

At the same time, we witness the (re)emergence of ethnic and regional conflicts, as a result of the still existent injustices from the past.

52. There are in Europe small and also larger national groups whose right to their own culture, religion and political system is either not recognized, or recognized only to a very limited degree. We support the efforts of these peoples and national groups towards self-determination and the promotion of their own culture and religion. We call on all Christians to try to counteract the injustices in this area and to assist those peoples and national groups in this direction with non-violent means.

53. As Christians, we must contribute to the reflection on the question of what Europe will look like in the future. What are our hopes? What are our concerns?


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