In an address on the topic “Widening the horizon, rediscovering the others” Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), has underlined the importance of church congregations for social cohesion. Speaking at the meeting “Peoples as Brothers and Sisters - the Future of the Earth” being organized on 6 and 7 October by the Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome, he said: “Church congregations are expressions of an understanding of community based on communicative freedom because they are vital actors of civil society and the ideal agents of a global civil society.”
They are linked up globally, Bedford-Strohm added, but at the same time deeply rooted with their members in local contexts. He emphasized: “It is precisely such actors that we need, actors who are passionately committed to ensuring that at some point in the future every person on this earth can live in dignity.“
At the same time, the EKD Council Chair highlighted the role of social networks on the internet:
“They can be a place for cultivating strong relationships - for example, when father and son from different continents can share their daily lives with each other through digital channels. At the same time, hate speech in filter bubbles is endangering our societal cohesion. It will be a crucial task to bring in rules for the internet which set human dignity-based limits to the commercially driven algorithm-based mechanisms that encourage extremist contents.”
The whole address by Bishop Bedford-Strohm is available here: https://www.ekd.de/en/presentation-on-october-7-2021-at-st-egidio-in-rome-1489.htm.
Further information on the peace meeting: https://www.santegidio.org/pageID/30284/langID/de/itemID/44345/Friedenstreffen-V%C3%B6lker-als-Geschwister-Zukunft-der-Erde.html
Hanover, 07 October 2021
EKD Press Office