Blog: Polarization & Europe

EU-flag-007dinsdag 03 januari 2017

The word polarization is heard quite often these days when we speak about Europe. Migration crisis, violence between different ethnic groups and radical expressions of Donald Trump do add to the current debate that is going on in Europe. However, there are some aspects that will give a more positive view on the current situation.

First of all, it’s not the first time that Europe is facing polarization when we take a trip back memory lane. We had tough times before in which we did not always understand each other, but it did also result in positive outcomes such as the founding of the European Union. So we should aim to find a common ground and collaborate instead of distantiate.

Secondly, we are born in a globalized world in which we can easily encounter different viewpoints and people. Instead of closing the bounders and highlighting the differences, we can open up ourselves for positive ideas and share our view on aspects that we disagree with. There is nothing wrong with a good debate, but the debate should be held in a reasonable manner. Sometimes we might hear an opinion that is quite confronting for us, but can we also see the person behind the opinion?

Thirdly, when we take a look into the Bible we see similar situations in which different groups didn’t understand each other. The Bible gives several clues how we can improve our understanding of people and ideas. The story of the Samaritan women at the well is an interesting case, in which Jesus did cross cultural boundaries and reached out to a woman in need. As a result of his behaviour her life changed drastically. Not only her life changed, it was mentioned that the whole village was transformed. This shows that as Christians we can overcome cultural differences and bring unity and transformation in Europe.

This blog is written by Rick van de Ven, from the Netherlands, about the theme of polarization as thought about at the Prayer breakfast (December 8th), organized by the ECPYouth.

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