12 May 2012 - “Together for Europe”

12 May 2012 - “Together for Europe”

The students of the IUS were also in Brussels

 

As in the Days of 2004 and 2007 in Stuttgart, also on this occasion there was live streaming connecting many to this international event, held at the Square Meeting Centre of the Belgium capital.  On that same day, the internet  gathered thousands of people and witnessed the spreading and the impact of an unheard of experience of unity, which keeps growing. 


«In the face of the crisis that is striking our continent, » reads the Charter that closed the programme, «the answer is not to close in on national interests or in provincialism…. Europe needs more unity.» And this Europe, «united in a reconciled diversity, actualizes the civilization of a harmonious co-existence which the world needs.»
 


Also the young people of the IUS took an active part in building the central event in Brussels. During the preceding days to the event, a group of them participated in the Seminar “Face to Faith,” an initiative connected with the Day’s programme, which brought together about 30 young adults belonging to 8 Christian Movements from different denominations in Leuven, a Belgium city home to an important university. 


Well aware of the moment that the continent is living through, the participants allowed themselves to be interrogated by the numerous questions posed in the ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, recognizing with transparency different experiences and sensitivities, the different educational paths and the bonds of belonging to one’s respective Christian faith community, while aiming their sight on a vaster horizon of unity.  

How is the concept of friendship changing in this era of social networks? What is the biblical vision of it? How can friendships and interpersonal relationships facilitate a real exchange? How can one live one’s calling as a Christian in “the city of men”?  Comments and answers were above all the result of listening and of mutual collaboration, and recalled the thinking of authors from the Reformed Church, the free Churches and the Catholic Church, so that the outcome of the open dialogue could be as rich as possible. 


“It was important for me to understand that setting my personal convictions aside in order to make more room for other visions is the first step to getting to know one another, to free our own identity from many preclusions, so that the other person can give us back our own thoughts, but enriched and deepened by a new light,” stated Sole Nardone, from Naples.


The three days of work at Leuven ended with the writing of several “statements” which the students presented on 12 May in Brussels, during the afternoon of “Together for Europe”: along with their commitment to collaborate in building “a peaceful, reconciled and united Europe in the multi-faceted nature of its identity,” the young people reiterated their confidence in the project’s success, placing themselves on the frontline, alongside many other youth who also live in Europe.

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