The representatives of the International Rural Churches Association Europe (IRCA-Europe) met between the 6th and the 10th of June 2012 in Sibiu, Romania to discuss about the following topic: „OUR DAILY BREAD – securing the food as a challenge for the churches in Europe”. The demographical changes, the worldwide growing population, the climatic change and the structural changes in the agriculture leaded to the main 3 topics of the conference: We experience an increasing competition in the use of resources for the food production, animal feed, bioenergy and a waste of aliments. This fact points out the prevailing injustice regarding the provision of agricultural goods. The emigration of people from the rural areas leads to significant changes of the age structures in the communities. This compromises the infrastructure so far until it culminates to a depopulation of entire rural areas.
As churches we are lawyers of christian values, of which we are convinced that they are an important fundament for a sustainable community development and food production in Europe. To maintain the churches in the rural areas liveable we see the following possibilities:
-to live in word and deed the christian values
-to encourage people to lifelong learning, because education is the key which allows people to live their lives in a self-determined manner
-to be actively involved in the development of its own area (village and regional developing projects)
-to support people in the wide changes of their living environment.
It needs a new ethical and sociopolitical Vision for securing sufficient and sustainable food. In that way the rural area will keep being the heart of our entire society and will still contribute to it in an irreplaceable and unique manner.
Sibiu, the 9th of June 2012
Hermann Witter, Chair of IRCA-Europe