Representatives of Churches in Europe (Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community – COMECE, and Conference of European Churches – CEC) had talks in Paris on November 21 2008 with French state secretary for European affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet. CEC is a group of about 120 Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 associated organisations.
In a media statement, the two church groupings called on the EU member states and the EU institutions to make respect for religious freedom, which is a fundamental right, a major plank of their foreign policy.
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The church representatives expressed their wish to see the Sunday rest day being better protected in national legislations as well as in the future EU working time directive which currently is being revised.
“In our societies and in our economies, where efficiency has become the ultimate criterion of valuation, Sunday rest allows the individual to be placed at the centre of society and calls attention to the fact that he is free and not the slave of work,” the church groupings said.
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