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This is the first Oikosnet Europe newsletter for 2015. Let me remind you that you are welcome to contribute to the content of these newsletters. Send information you would like to share with the Oikosnet Europe network to We hope that many of you will come to the Annual Meeting in Corrymeela in September, but hopefully also to Sigtuna in May. More about this below.

Warm greetings from a very snowy Sigtuna!
Alf Linderman, Director of the Sigtuna Foundation

Wait a minute.....

By Jaap van der Sar, president of Oikosnet Europe

Violence as a means – is that allowed? This is not just a question which can easily be raised to for example Christians, westerners, Muslims, atheists, jihadists only.

Most of the time the evil sides of humanity seems to characterise more ‘others’ than ourselves, our friends. Yet the good arguments for this approach are easy to find: the attack on Charlie Hebdo was not done by us but by fanatic followers of what we consider the false Islam. The same applies to Boko Haram, to IS, to fundamentalists, to people who are different from us.

‘Charlie Hebdo’ as the expression of evil thoughts and deeds doesn’t characterise us. And we condemn it forcefully, as I have seen in many statements from many organisations which are on the correct side of the spectrum. And I heard it in many interviews. Let me be clear: it is awful what has happened in Paris, what has happened in the North-East of Nigeria, what is happening in Syria. We have to fight this as clear and dedicated as possible.

And yet - I also have some feelings of unease, of ‘jumping to a conclusion’. 

Read more

Globalethics Network - a possible partner to members of Oikosnet Europe

By Rüdiger Noll Executive Secretary of Oikosnet Europe

If you are planning a conference or a project on an ethical issue and you want to get input and insights from various parts of the world, if you are looking for partners and experts from different regions of the world, or if you even want to join research projects or thematic networks, then the Globalethics Network could be the right resource and network to connect with. is a global network of persons and institutions interested in various fields of applied ethics. It offers access to a large number of resources on ethics, especially through its leading global digital ethics library and facilitates collaborative web-based research, conferences, online publishing and information sharing.

Read more 

The Role of Religion for Cultural identity, Democracy and Peace, Sigtuna May 18th - 20th

By Alf Linderman Executive Director of the Sigtuna Foundation 

Early this year, we were all shocked to learn about the acts of terror in France. How inconceivable as it may be, these acts were also conducted with reference to religious faith. At the same time, we hear about the persecution of people for their religious beliefs, attacks on sacred buildings, and demonstrations against religion – all taking place in Europe in 2015!

We invite you to be part of the dialogue on how to respond to the present developments, and on the role of religion for cultural identity, democracy and peace in Europe. The dialogue will specifically concern the role of Oikosnet Europe members and similar institutions, i.e. academies and laity centers in Europe, in creating societies where people with different religious and cultural background can live peacefully together.

Read more

Petition for German Zarate

By Jaap van der Sar, president of Oikosnet Europe

German Zarate used to be one of the two representatives of Oikosnet Latin America in meetings of Oikosnet International. He is doing diaconal work in Colombia. At the moment, a petition campaign is going on to support the three involved church leaders as well as 33 other persons from different NGO’s. 

All people are threatened since they all are dealing with “justice, peace and restitution of land to the displaced on Colombia’s Caribbean coast” – as is stated in one of the support letters for these activists.

People are invited to join the campaign to get attention to these threats as well as to the case these people are fighting for. Read more 

Make a change - become a volunteer at Corrymeela

Can you imagine working for a society whose priorities are justice, mutual respect, the participation of all, concern for the vulnerable and the stranger, stewardship of resources, and care for Creation?

Can you imagine living in one community with people from Northern Ireland, Kenya, the States, the Republic of Ireland, Colombia, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Pakistan, and El Salvador? Why not become a volunteer at Corrymeela? 

Read more

Reunion for former Corrymeela volunteers

3rd -7th April 2015.

The Oikosnet member Corrymeela would like to get in touch with everyone who has contributed their time and energy to sustain the academy over the last fifty years. If you have been a Corrymeela volunteer of any kind please let them know. They are planning a gahtering at Corrymeela  3rd -7th April 2015. read more

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