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