Austria: Interreligious Breakfast

 

Prepared by UPF Austria

On Saturday 1st July 2017 in Linz, Upper Austria, an Interreligious Breakfast once again took place. The topic this time was: spirituality and politics – are religious people called to be actively involved in political affairs?

In July, 18 representatives from 5 different religious directions came together at a lovingly prepared breakfast table. Two impulse talks on the topic and piano music stimulated the participants to open up the following discussion and make interesting contributions.

Heinz Krcek gave a historical outline of the relationship between politics and religion in Western Europe. He highlighted that the original meaning of “Minister” is to serve and that the central role of politics is to help people live a dignified life.

A protestant pastor gave an overview of the challenges and changes of the protestant view to politics, before and during the 2nd world war. He emphasised that religious people are called “to be political,” meaning to be engaged in society. Such a social engagement should be distinguished however from efforts of the church “to do (party) politics.”

The woman bishop Mayr-Lumetzberger then made an ecumenical contribution. She shared about the historical event of the four Lübeck Martyrs, conveying how Protestants and Catholics together gave their life, in order to stay true to their conscience.

Other contributions to the discussion referred to the Yin-Yang principle or the fact that inner peace is the starting point of world peace. Hans Brunnbauer (FFWPU) pointed out that

people’s notion of God influences the political reality and Paul Ettl (Peace Academy Linz) remarked on how necessary he found a universal basic income to be in order for people to come closer to being co-creators in the image of God. To conclude, Maria Pammer (UPF Upper Austria) reported from the first national peace breakfast in the Austrian Parliament.

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