Last updated:
Jún 10, 97


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The Coalition for Graz stands in the tradition of "Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation"

, and is made up of two groups: people affected by unreconciled situations, and solidarity groups. Since the first European Ecumenical Assembly in Basel in 1989, the Coalition has expanded its work into the East and South-East of Europe.

The Coalition was formed to combine the forces of a wide range of grassroots groups in order to make an impact on the Graz Assembly, the churches and the general public. It approaches the theme of reconciliation from the perspective of the people who are living in unreconciled situations, and therefore its analyses differ widely from the official pronouncements of the established political and economic structures. Currently the Coalition consists of nearly one hundred groups and networks from across Europe, sixty of whom will be based in an "ecumenical village" and twenty in the Peace House.

The method of working within the village is to create spaces for people to present their stories through drama, music, dance, art, story-telling and discussion. Lectures and reports will be kept to a minimum! Together participants hope to build bridges between people from different situations; to welcome visitors and Assembly delegates; and to send well-briefed delegations to the "fora" who will feedback to the village.

The village is sub-divided into four neighbourhoods based on Assembly themes: commitment to social justice; reconciliation between nations; ecological responsibility and future generations; and equilibrium and the regions of the world. In addition there will be a story-telling room, a cafe, a bakery and a "virtual village". Each neighbourhood will have an on-going programme, and several times during the day there will be a central event on the "village green".

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (from 13.45-14.45) there will be a "tribunal" (Benennen und Bekennen) organised on the model of the South African Commission for Truth and Reconciliation. Both parties in specific unreconciled situations, for example the conflicting interests between the agri-business and the supporters of sustainable farming, will have an opportunity to present their experiences.

The Coalition is pleased to share a venue with DIAKONIA and CARITAS, who will join the midday programme, and welcomes this opportunity for co-operation as a witness to continued mutual learning between diaconal and prophetic ministries.