A clear witness at a time of global insecurity

The Council of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE) assesses the abiding importance of the Barmen Theological Declaration, composed 75 years ago, for the churches in Europe.

The Barmen Theological Declaration, with which in 1934 the Confessing Synod of the German Evangelical Church drew a clear line over against National Socialism, is of abiding importance for the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE). On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Confessing Synod of Barmen, during its meeting on 17 October in Oslo the Council of the CPCE recalled the abiding importance of the Barmen Theological Declaration for the churches in Europe.

The Barmen Theological Declaration united people of different confessions. It is a model for the foundation document of the CPCE, the Leuenberg Agreement of 1973, and an encouragement to seek what the churches have in common even in difficult situations,

The Council of the CPCE emphasizes that the combination of freedom and responsibility is “a special mark of the Protestant church in its social involvement”. The Barmen Theological Declaration strengthens the churches “in giving clear witness in word and action in the present challenges of global insecurity, violent conflicts and the destruction of the natural foundations of life”.

It is evident from the Barmen Declaration, as from the Leuenberg Agreement, that “the shaping of the church does not follow political or social factors. In its ordinances, too, the church must bear witness to the one to whom it belongs.” Thus the CPCE Council.

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