Solidarity Message from Kairos Europa

 

 Kairos Southern Africa and Kairos Palestine Encounter

 Johannesburg, South Africa (Willow Park),  4-5 April 2011

 Solidarity Message from Kairos Europa

„The KAIROS is fulfilled, God’s domination-free order has come, change your lives and trust the  good news!” (Mark 1:15)

 Dear friends,

 It is with great joy that we see a new response to the present Kairos moment happening in South Africa, as you assemble for a joint meeting. It was in your country that in 1985 a courageous step was taken, inspiring people in all continents to create Kairos movements: the rediscovery of the power of prophecy. Central America followed with their Kairos Centroamericano, next came several countries of the Global South together (The Road to Damascus: Kairos and Conversion), then Europe, the USA, Zimbabwe, India and recently, in the middle of notorious oppression and suffering, Palestine.

 The call of the Kairos documents of the South reached us in Europe in 1989 while we were preparing for the 1st European Ecumenical Assembly on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC) in Basle/Switzerland. The Work-Economy-Network (WEN), further a coalition doing advocacy work on the financial markets, IMF and World Bank in Germany, as well as the Liberation Theology Movement in Switzerland, convened the peace and justice groups, participating in the Basle Assembly, to gather in a separate meeting and work out a response. We decided to hold a meeting of relevant groups from all over Europe in Monteforte/Italy in June 1990. Here Kairos Europa was founded.

 First we concentrated on the 500 years of oppression and resistance leading up to a “People’s Parliament” in Strasbourg in 1992 with more than 700 people from all over the world, particularly also from indigenous movements in Latin America. In 1994 we participated in the global campaign “50 years is enough” on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Bretton Woods institutions. In 1997 there was the 2nd European Ecumenical Assembly on JPIC in Graz/Austria on the theme of “reconciliation”. We used this occasion for creating a process with about 200 groups and networks to reflect on our praxis through creating a European Kairos  Document on building alliances between faith communities, social movements and trade unions (it was later on published in 14 languages). In 2000 we enlarged the scope by calling an inter-religious Colloquium 2000 under the motto “Faith Communities and Social Movements Facing Globalization”. In the same year, together with Pax Christi, we founded attac Germany, a network for the democratic control of financial markets, nowadays the broadest social movement with branches in 16 European countries, which is acting in the forms of campaigns, summer academies, publications and tribunals. After that Kairos Europa concentrated on the processus confessionis concerning economic injustice and ecological destruction as called for by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches ans later joined by the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation. We have used the decisions of the assemblies of these ecumenical organizations in 2003, 2004, 2006 to mobilize in congregations and churches on economic justice and ecological issues.

 Europe is one of the leading actors in the global empire of capital, serving this empire with imperialist policies and actions. We are co-responsible for the fact that a vast portion of the South African people have not been able to reap the harvest of their hard liberation struggle but continue to be impoverished. We are co-responsible for the continuous occupation of the Palestinian territories by the state of Israel and the resulting suffering of the people there, our brothers and sisters. Together with other social movements and ecumenical networks we are striving to create more solidarity with your struggles. We are also trying to build inter-religious cooperation towards this goal. As humanity and the earth are in danger by the life-destroying western civilization we need to mobilize all spiritual forces for a new culture of life, learn from each other and act together.

 May the creative spirit of prophecy and community sweep among you as you gather in Johannesburg!

 In love and solidarity,

 Prof. Dr. Ulrich Duchrow

 Kairos Europa Chair

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