Rev. Christian Krieger is the new President of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the ecumenical body bringing together 116 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, and Old Catholic Churches from all European countries. He was elected yesterday by the General Assembly of the CEC in Novi Sad, Serbia, which also appointed two vice presidents: Metropolitan Cleopas Strongylis (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and Rev. Gulnar Francis-Dehqani (Church of England). Rev. Krieger’s first remarks were: “The first goal is for the community of Churches in Europe. I would like dialogue and meetings to be strengthened. The second goal is about the witness of the Churches in and to Europe, and their commitment to strengthening social work, starting from economic and migration issues”. Rev. Krieger is the president of the Reformed Protestant Church of Alsace and Lorraine and vice president of both the Union of Protestant Churches of Alsace and Lorraine and of the Protestant Federation of France.
Originally from Greece, Cleopas Strongylis was elected Metropolitan of Sweden and all Scandinavia and was ordained a bishop in 2014 by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. “The most important aspect of our work should be working together as the Body of Christ for a better future, for a better Europe, and in particular for our young people”. “My priority – woman Bishop Francis-Dehqani added – is commitment to working with others on issues relating to refugees and the movement of people across Europe”. Originally from Iran, she has been serving the Church of England as the Bishop of Loughborough since 2017, with a specific mandate to work with different cultures and minority ethnic communities within her diocese.