Nationalism < > patriotism

Last month, I participated in the “State of Europe Forum”  in Athens, organised by the Schuman Centre, and the European Christian Political Movement.

One of the fabulous quotes was from a Polish priest Father Piotr who said, ‘Nationalism is a pathological overemphasis on the nation, and patriotism correctly understood is the antithesis of nationalism. Characteristic of nationalism is the fact that it recognizes only the good of its own people and seeks only its own fulfilment, neglecting the rights of others. Patriotism, however, as love of one’s own country, recognises the same rights of every nation, and is therefore a good tool to set social love in order. It seems that the difference between patriotism and nationalism can be clarified by recalling the difference between self-love and selfishness.’

This reflects Jesus’ words to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.

During the Forum, a highlight was a study on Paul’s message to the Athenians from Acts 17. We gathered on Mars Hill where Paul met the city leaders 2000 years ago! Paul gave an important reason why God allowed the boundaries of nations to be as they are.”From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” (Acts 17:11,12)

History is truly “His story”  – God is still unfolding is plan of redemption and restoration to this world.  A copy of the Athens Affirmation, which came out of the Forum can be downloaded here.

Athens Affirmation 1pge

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