From Inspiration to Impact – Religion in Politics
Christian faith has been influencing European politics for hundreds of years. Some of today’s most important political values are clearly influenced by Christianity: Justice, charity, freedom, dignity, and solidarity. Faith inspires many European citizens and organizations to actively foster the well-being of society as a whole. Religious followers are often active in numerous local, regional or national activities addressing issues such as poverty, care and reconciliation.
At the same time, today many Europeans struggle how to deal with religion in politics. Some argue that the so-called modernist ‘separation of church and state’ implies that there is no place for religion in politics at all. Also, the rapid decline of Christian faith in Western European countries, the formation of multicultural societies, the rise of radical Islamic terrorism and the recent influx of Islamic refugees have caused European politicians to rethink the position of religion in society and politics. How far should a government go in tolerating extreme opinions? What about the Christian identity of European national states? Should politics be ‘neutral’ and ‘secular’?
CDYM and ECPYouth believe that young Christians can and will play a decisive role in current European politics. Therefore, they are introducing a four-day Regional Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia for you. This Regional Conference is meant to get you thinking about the relationship between religion and politics in Europe. It will inspire you to think about how you as a young, Christian politician can be a change maker in your own country. The lectures and workshops by prominent politicians and scholars will give you food for thought, as well as practical tools how your faith can be of importance in national and international politics.
The program for Thursday includes the opening ceremony, a seminar on the relationship between church and state and political legitimacy and an optional city tour through Tbilisi. On Friday two seminars on Islam and Secularity will take place, including two workshops on these issues. The Saturday program includes another seminar and workshop on Christian religion and philosophy and ends with a gala dinner. The Sunday program is devoted to worship.
Who can participate?
We welcome youth from EU and non-EU countries interested in issues related to political engagement and public affairs as well as those that are interested in learning more practical skills about political activism. This event is specifically focused on youth from Georgia and other countries in the area. Places are limited! The participation fee is either 20 without accomodation or 50 euros with accomodation. The lower fee will cover lunches, dinners and the conference. The higher fee includes accommodation (breakfast included) for 3 nights. You have to pay for your own travel costs .The registration deadline is September 15th at 18.00 CET. Cancellation deadline is September 18th at 18.00 CET. After the cancellation deadline you are requested to pay the full fee. In the next few weeks more information will be given on the program as well as all the practical information.