June 10-12, Czech Rep. Conference on the Influence of Helsinki on Church Activities in C. Europe

June 10, 2015toJune 12, 2015

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

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