Nuorten delegaattien viesti Euroopan kirkkojen konferenssille

Suomesta nuorten puheenvuoron piti delegaatti Aino Vihonen.Nuoret delegaatit eri maista Euroopan kirkkojen konferenssin yleiskokouksessa valmistelivat ja toivat yhteisen viestin kokouksen täysistunnossa 16. heinäkuuta:

Moderators, secretary of CEC, the President of CEC and dear friends in Christ

We thank you for your reports. We acknowledge your focus on the war in Ukraine and the importance of political activity representing the European Churches, but there are few more points we as youth want to add to these points.

We share our conversations from the past two days on behalf of young delegates and stewards. Despite our diverse backgrounds, we care deeply about the just future for God's creation. Yet, as youth, we need an official platform to form an opinion on the topics discussed and express our views of today and tomorrow. If we speak of tomorrow, the youth must be involved. Ask us, inform us, all in advance and do not just expect us to do what you decide.

In CEC, we have 114 member churches, but only between 10 and 15 youth delegates and advisors. That makes us less than 10 percent. This 10% is largely made up of youth from the bigger wealthier churches unless a church has a particular interest in enabling youth involvement in international ecumenical organisations. Some bigger wealthier churches are able to send many delegates and therefore are more likely to send at least one youth delegate whereas smaller churches may only have one or two delegates and are therefore less likely to send any young people as delegates results in an imbalance of representation of young people at CEC meetings.

We strongly encourage the CEC to discuss the issue of equality between churches abilities and spots to nominate youth delegates. Both in terms of financial considerations and how their internal structures work. 


Dear Moderators, here is the second part of the youth message:

In this world, injustice and death often prevail, leaving many young people with a question: “Is there a future worth living for?” Resistance against human rights and gender equality persists globally, often justified by religion. Anti-democratic and anti-feminist voices grow in Europe, causing insecurity in identities and beliefs. The pandemic has worsened the situation of violence based on gender or sexual orientation, necessitating discussions on human sexuality and taking active steps towards gender equality. 

Just last week a gay pastor was attacked on a cruise to Finland. The attacker reasoned his actions with religious beliefs, Christian beliefs. As Churches, as followers of Christ, we must never promote violence, not in action or in speech. 

As individuals, church members, and Europeans, we can foster inclusivity and accessibility within our churches, for all. Social justice is a necessary part of building just peace. Reflecting on past and present practices, we must confront racism, exclusion, and violence with increased honesty. We should never tolerate discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. We see this happening at our borders, we saw this happen with the refugees of the war in Ukraine. 

Strengthening democratic structures and empowering women, youth, and lay leaders is still crucial. Intergenerational cooperation creates collaboration and understanding. As part of the global church, we have a responsibility to stand up for human rights, and it is a call to make our voices heard, here in Europe.

Dear Moderators I will deliver the third and last part of the youth message to this external General assembley:

Dignity lies at the core of human rights, intertwined with the image of God and shared by all of creation. Addressing the climate crisis is essential, as it reinforces all other injustices. We must prioritise care for creation in all aspects of our actions and decisions at this assembly.
Breaking free from fossil energy addiction is necessary for an ecologically and socially just community. And we as churches must make it clear that we can no longer afford the luxury of hopelessness and passivity. We must convey that justice for all creation is paramount. 

So we ask you all warmly as youth to really hear our voices in the following days and discuss and support the ideas we will bring up. 

We can address divisive issues and foster unity through active listening, courage, and respect. As Christians, we believe death and injustice do not have the final say. Our faith in Jesus Christ shapes our present and future, guiding us to prioritise justice for all creation. To shape a future under God's blessing, we are called to be this blessing in the world.

Suomen Ekumeeninen Neuvosto / Ekumeniska Rådet i Finland       Eteläranta 8 / Södra kajen 8            PL / PB 210          00131 Helsinki / Helsingfors

Lahjoita Suomen Ekumeenisella Neuvostolla on Poliisihallituksen myöntämä rahankeräyslupa. Keräysnumero on RA/2021/1503 ja keräyslupa on voimassa 9.11.2021 alkaen toistaiseksi koko Suomessa Ahvenanmaata lukuunottamatta.
Donera  Ekumeniska Rådet i Finland har ett penninginsamlingstillstånd beviljat av Polisstyrelsen. Insamlingsnumret är RA/2021/1503. Insamlingstillståndet är i kraft fr.o.m. 9.11.2021 tills vidare i hela Finland föruton på Åland.