.- The Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe and the Conference of European Churches are encouraging Christians to demonstrate the positive influence Christianity can have in the public sphere.
The churches “have the opportunity to participate in the intellectual debate and to show that the Christian faith is a force for good in society,” the councils said following their Jan. 26-28 meeting in Geneva Switzerland.
The committee discussed the situation facing Christians in a “secular and atheist” Europe, where religion “is seen as a private affair that should have not have an impact on the public sphere,” and where the secular position “is erroneously considered a neutral position.”
The leaders said the source of the spiritual crisis affecting Europe needs to be found. They encouraged Christians “to resist the temptation to diminish their presence in the public sphere, because the credibility of their testimony in the eyes of public opinion is at stake.”
On the other hand, they warned that the family in Europe is deteriorating and that the number of children born out of wedlock is increasing.
A new “internal evangelization” is urgently needed to strengthen the faith of Christians and reinforce “external evangelization,” they said.
The Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe and the Conference of European Churches have met each year since 1972 for ecumenical dialogue and discussion on the work of evangelization.