CFP Deadline: Feb. 28, Conference on Church activities in C. Europe after Helsinki, Czech Republic

The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes is organizing a conference and an exhibition called VELEHRAD IS CALLING YOU! The influence of the Conference of Helsinki on the development of Church activities in Central Europe. The conference and the exhibition will be held on 10 – 12 June 2015.

The human rights principle enforced in 1975 by the Conference of Helsinki did not apply only to the diplomatic agenda. The following decade showed that the “Helsinki process” led from below was as important as the Conference itself. Church awakening in Central Europe became part of the process too. Clergymen and laymen, primarily those working in secret (the hidden Church), started to formulate the ever more important requirements of observance of religious and civil freedoms. A pilgrimage celebration in Velehrad in July 1985, where a large number of believers from Czechoslovakia and the neighboring countries gathered, became an important milestone in the process. The planned peaceful celebration turned into a demonstration for religious and civil freedoms. The planned two-day conference with the motto “Velehrad is calling you!” aims to commemorate this important event and share the results of historical research into searching for connections between the ideas promoted by the Conference of Helsinki and the increasing resistance of Churches in Central Europe in the 1980s. The conference is accompanied by a thematic exhibition.

Main partners of the conference: Aletti Centre Velehrad-Roma (Olomouc), Palacký University in Olomouc, Nation’s Memory Institute (Bratislava).

Media partners: Czech office of Vatican Radio, Katolický týdeník (Catholic Weekly), Radio Proglas, Television NOE.

Venue: area of the pilgrimage place Velehrad, Zlín Region, South Moravia, Czech Republic

Requirements for active participants:
Present a paper (20 minutes maximum) on the following subject: concrete cooperation with Churches and believers in Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia, or with exile groups or Vatican Radio (how it worked, who participated in it at different times, under what conditions, etc.). Interpretation from German and Polish languages will be arranged. The organization committee of the conference will take a final decision on papers acceptance.

Board and accommodation will be provided for active participants, authors of conference presentations.

Successful papers will be published in a collective monograph in the English language.

Kindly please send abstracts of your papers (200 words maximum) by 28 February 2015 to <>, and visit the website for more details.

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