change language
you are in: home - ecumenis...dialogue - internat...or peace - septembe...or peace contact usnewsletterlink

Support the Community


Pope Francis in the basilica St. Bartholomew prays with the Community of Sant'Egidio in memory of the New Martyrs

Liturgy of the Resurrection of the Lord

Sunday Vigil

The Everyday Prayer

printable version
September 12 2011 16:00 | Künstlerhaus am Lenbachplatz, Festsaal

Local belonging – Universal Identity by Klatik

Miloš Klatik

World Lutheran Federation, Slovak Republic

 A man is born and raised in a specific environment that leaves an imprint on his upbringing, behavior and his way of thinking. Early years of our live are a period during which one creates connections to a place where one lives and people around this place. It is a time when one forms bonds that continue to affect him for the rest of his life and are part of shaping one's identity and lead people on to identify themselves on national or social level in accordance with these bonds. After this process it is solely up to every individual whether he is capable to change his identity throught his life. Social issues are one of the most common reason that make people leave their original environment and change their surroundings. This is not an easy process. Strong connection to his original surroundings can become an obstacle to full adaptation to a new place and to identification with this new environment. Therefore, it is questionable whether this change becomes a positive or a negative influence. Is it more benefitial for a person to change his identity throughout his life or is it better to remain loyal to one's original identity despite being at different places with different way of living? This is a very complex question that we could analyse from the national, social, or confessional point of view. In every case a change of identity can be viewed from different perspectives but we cannot deny that current events play their part in this process.

Today, we want to talk and focus on confessional identity of a christian. The idea of cosmopolitan identity is nothing new and is accepted with different feelings, as some welcome the possibility to identify themselves with the whole world, others consider this possibility to be a betrayal of their original identity. We have encountered something very similar in our country seven years ago, when Slovakia joined the European Union. While some welcomed this decision with opened arms and joy, others were afraid that they will lose whatever it was that was making them "Slovak" and that the honor of national identity and nationaly identity as such will cease to exist. These fears did not materialize and now, after seven years we can conclude that our identity did not suffer.

World is becoming a global village - travelling and international relationships are not a problem anymore. For us - Christians, it presents an opportunity to meet, share, encourage, and help each other. We meet as members of different countries which reflects upon our behavior and way of thinking. Our christianity is in spite of all the differences something that unites us and brings us together. On one hand we can see the words of apostle Paul fulfilled: Christ's love unites us (2K 5,14) along with words of Jesus: where two or three gather in my name, i will be among them (Mt 18,20), on the other hand we can admire greatness of God‘s power that allowed all of this to happen.

I believe that it would be a mistake for a christian from any country to shut himself and hide from the world. There are groups of people that are scattered all around the globe, and even then they work like a family. We can picture the christian church as such family. Evangel was spread into many corners of the world but its purpose is not only to spread but apart from message to every individual, it is here also to unite christians all around the world. This is a process that caused a birth of a big christian family.

In order to be a part of this process we need to be willing to become a part of this global family of christians. We have to be capable of perceiving a christian abroad as a brother or sister, we have to be able to feel as a part of this global christian church. This assumes that every single one of us possesses a global christian identity. This is not cosmopolitan identity, it is not an effort to globalize all that makes person a person, it is not an effort to steal one's own identity but an effort to widen one's horizon of christian way of thinking beyond boundaries of local belonging and thereby enhance one's spiritual life. I think that this kind of consensus of local and global christian identity is possible. Nevertheless, it is up to us to try and reach this consensus.

Sunday Vigil

The Everyday Prayer

Munich  2011

of H.H. Pope
Benedict XVI

09.11 - Destined to live together: New York - München
Destined to Live Together
Semptember 11, 2001
Link New York-München 

March 31 2017

In London, after sorrowful and deadly events, "our cup of tea" strengthens commitment for peace

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | NL
February 28 2017

Abuna Matthias, Patriarch of Ethiopian Church, sent a letter of gratitude and appreciation to Sant'Egidio

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR
January 9 2017

Zygmunt Bauman: a great humanist has passed away. He engaged in dialogue between nonbelievers and believers, aimed at living together and peace

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | RU
October 8 2016

Letter of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Community of Sant'Egidio

Back to Constantinople from Assisi 2016, the patriarch wrote a letter of gratitude and appreciation to the Community.
IT | EN | ES | DE
September 20 2016

Christians are called to be trees of life that absorb indifference: Pope Francis at the prayer for peace in Assisi

IT | EN | ES | DE | PT | HU
September 20 2016

The words of Pope Francis at the Closing Ceremony of Thirst for Peace in Assisi

#peaceispossible #prayforpeace
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | ID
all related news

Religions and Violence

Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
Making Peace

New City
more books