May 06

Wounded identities in Central and Eastern Europe

Just recently appeared the very interesting book Freiheit und Populismus. Verwundete Identitäten in Ostmitteleuropa (Freedom and Populism. Wounded identities in Central and Eastern Europe) by András Máté-Tóth. The foundation Communicantes was very happy to further the realisation of this study into the changes of Central and Eastern European society since the fall of communism in 1989. Focusing on the historical wounds of the region and its specific memory culture Máté-Tóth tries to explain the significance of religion and of populism in the post-communist context of Central and Eastern Europe. A major part of the book is dedicated to the role of religion and its future challenges. Professor András Máté-Tóth, 1957, is a theologian, a sociologist of religion and a media expert. He is full professor of Religious Studies at the University of Szeged, Hungary. The introduction, table of content and epilogue can be found on the website of Springer Verlag.

Dec 16

Contactdag Communicantes: Albanië. Land in transitie

Albanië – land van bloedwraak, armoede en massa-emigratie, maar ook land waar moslims en christenen vreedzaam samenleven en niet langs elkaar heen. Werkt het communistisch verleden nog door in de huidige ontwikkelingen? Hoe dragen religie, leken en religieuze leiders bij tot verwerking van het verleden en  tot de opbouw van een vreedzame, democratische samenleving, die zich kan meten aan de eisen van Europese integratie? En welke bijzondere rol spelen christendom en islam? Deze vragen leggen we voor aan onze inleiders:
Luigj Mila. directeur van de Commissie Justitia et Pax in Albanië
H.E. Adia Sakiqi, ambassadeur van Albanië in Nederland
Ds. Esther Struikmans, auteur van het boek Wat is jullie geheim? Over positief samenleven als christenen en moslims in Albanië
H.E. Dewi van de Weerd, ambassadeur van Nederland in Albanië

De contactdag vindt plaats op zaterdag 4 februari 2017, van 10.30 tot 15.30 uur in Tilburg bij de Fraters van Tilburg, Gasthuisring 54, 5037 ET Tilburg. Dit is op 5 à 10 minuten lopen van Tilburg CS (uitgang achterzijde). De deelnamekosten bedragen € 17,50 inclusief koffie, thee en lunch. Overmaken op NL58 INGB 0002257912 t.n.v. Communicantes Tilburg o.v.v. contactdag. Opgeven vóór 1 februari 2017 bij Stichting Communicantes, postbus 6016, 5002 AA Tilburg, 013 5423782,

Voor meer informatie, lees de folder en de routebeschrijving.

Enkele links
● Interview met Luigj Mila in Ost-West (Duitstalig)
De Albanese ambassade in Nederland
● Over het boek van Esther Struikmans: Wat is jullie geheim?
De Nederlandse ambassade in Albanië
● BBC: Albania country profile | The country that’s famous for tolerance
● Wikipedia: Albanië | Religion in Albania
● Voor de actualiteit, zie: Facebook

Oct 07

75th Anniversary of the Executions of Jews in Babyn Yar

Distance in time allows us to sweep many particular historical events (of whatever magnitude) together in one encompassing narrative, as did the Greek Catholic Bishop of Paris Boris Gudziak. On 27 September 2016, he discussed Ukraine’s bloody past in Ukrainian Parliament. Since the Bishop and Communicantes know each other for many years now, it is understood that this happened with good intentions. The Kiev Post-website published Bishop Boris’ text. Continue reading

May 25

A car accident is a car accident?

Last Thursday 19 May 2016 was held an expert-meeting of the Theology after Gulag research group (ThaG-group). Main coordinator was Dr Katja Tolstaja of INaSEC: the Institute for the Academic Study of Eastern Christianity at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.of INaSEC: The ThaG-group is interreligious and multidisciplinary, and aims at understanding the experience of communist totalitarianism from religious, sociological, historical (and son on) perspectives. Continue reading

Mar 30


Verhef het Oekraïnereferendum van 6 april 2016  boven GeenPeil. Een ‘ja’-stem is een stem voor een betere toekomst voor Oekraïne. Een ‘nee’-stem een knieval voor Russische propaganda, bodemloze angst en emotie. Een brede, losse coalitie van gelovigen, maatschappelijke activisten en zakenwereld maakt zich breed voor een breuk met het communistische verleden. Die verdient onze steun. Lees hier de kerkelijk geëngageerde stemmen.

Apr 28

Reconciliation in Ukraine

At the conference “Ukrainian Reconciliation Projects and the Future of Europe”, 21/22 April in Kiev, Frans Hoppenbrouwers of Communicantes remembered how he visited the Stepan Bandera Historical Memorial Museum in Kalush in 2003 (see picture). The then recently opened museum had been financed by German millionaire and newspaper editor Gerhard Frey, who was the founder of the right-wing Deutsche Volksunion (DVU). The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishop Sofron Mudry of Ivano-Frankivsk added his Church’s approval by attending the 1997 ceremony of laying the foundation stone. Several years ago, the DVU was disbanded and is now – o tempora, o mores – part of the pro-Putin Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD).
Continue reading

Jun 28

Remembering the First World War

A hundred years ago, the First World War broke out. The assassination of the Austrian successor to the throne Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 was the starting signal of the “war to end war”. The bitter experiences and outcome of World War One and yet another World War on top of that, just 20 years later, led to the “European Peace Project”, which became embodied most significantly in the European Union. Continue reading

Jun 11

EuroMaidan: a Pilgrimage from Fear to Dignity

Frans Hoppenbrouwers of Communicantes met with Bishop Boris Gudziak, Eparch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchy of Paris and together we discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. We talked about what caused the protests that lead to this crisis, the involvement of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the disappointment about the attitude of the European Union and the stance of the Russian Orthodox Church. Read: EuroMaidan: a Pilgrimage from Fear to Dignity.

Apr 10

Who’s afraid of Vladimir Putin’s Conservative Ideology?

Enjoying Hans-Joachim Spanger’s must-read “Unholy Alliance. Putin and the Values”*, I was reminded of a nice “parable” of Meister Eckhart about words and action. The medieval mystic compares people who talk but don’t act with toads croaking in a pond. They croak and that is what they do, most of the time. In fact, the toad – an old symbol of sexual lust – only becomes active to perform immoral acts. Unfortunately for Russia, for Ukraine and for us, warmonger President Vladimir Putin seems to qualify as toad. Continue reading

Feb 27

Keep up to date with the events in Ukraine

And more at BBC News Europe
28/2: Crimean airports occupied
27/2: West warns Russia amid rising tensions in Crimea
22/2: Live text from BBC reporters and informants on the spot
- President Viktor Yanukovych ousted by Parliament, but refuses to quit
- allegedly, former President Yanukovych tried to flee to Russia but was prevented from doing so by border guards
- numerous statutes of Lenin have been toppled
21/2: Live text from BBC reporters and informants on the spot
- President Yanukovych and opposition leaders signed an agreement for early elections; maybe more than 100 people have died
20/2: Live text from BBC reporters and informants on the spot
- at last 17 maybe 35 people have died today
18/2: Live text from BBC reporters and informants on the spot:
- at last 25 people have died
- hundreds and hundreds lay wounded in hospitals all over Kyiv
- horrendous scenes seen on the internet
- take over of secret service, police and administration buildings in regional capitals
- President Viktor Yanukovych, who didn’t make a single concession over the last three months, is blaming the victims. Continue reading