Pro Oriente

In Europe at Home

Ecumenical Workshop for Orthodox and Oriental young Christians

In March 2022, the PRO ORIENTE Foundation, in cooperation with the group "We choose abundant Life", launched a project for the ecumenical formation and education of young Christians in the countries of the Middle East. Between March and September 2022, several workshops were held for young people between the ages of 18 and 28 in a total of six countries in the Middle East. From Lebanon to Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Israel and Egypt, the workshops brought together young Christians from various churches. The workshops served to train these young people in the areas of ecumenism and synodality and to work with them to find ways of strengthening their roots and their commitment to church and society.

The faith and will of the young people in the countries of the Middle East to use their talents more effectively for the renewal of church and society inspired many. The young people affirmed: "We have the will, the gifts and the perseverance to actively shape the future of our churches and societies."

As the young people are unable to meet due to the political circumstances in the region, a regional workshop was held in Austria at the end of January 2023, attended by 25 young Christians from the six countries mentioned above and from Syria. At the workshop, which took place at the St. Hippolyt educational center in St. Pölten, the young people were able to network with their brothers and sisters in faith from the other countries and at the same time develop a framework for future joint activities in the coming years. Following the four-day workshop, the young people traveled to various provinces (Vienna, Salzburg, Upper Austria and Styria) to meet and exchange ideas with local young Christians in small groups, while also experiencing a piece of Austria. The regional workshop made it clear how important it is to continue this new ecumenical educational program.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of PRO ORIENTE by Cardinal König in 2024, the foundation is aiming to expand the work it has begun by holding a first workshop with young Orthodox and Oriental Christians who are now at home in Europe. Over the last century, several diaspora communities of Orthodox and oriental Christians in Western Europe have increased and become more diverse including many Orthodox and Oriental Churches from the global south. ked by These Churches and their communities have also witnessed transformation processes that mainly issues of identities especially among the new generations born in Diaspora. Through their "diaspora existence", these young people bring with them unique conditions of being at home "in West and East", which enable them in a special way to build bridges between churches and denominations, but also between churches and societies. By promoting ecumenical education and exchange between them, PRO ORIENTE fulfills in a special way the basic mission formulated by Cardinal König to promote the ecumenical attitude of as many people as possible, and to focus in particular on the young generation.

Target group

Youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 28, from Orthodox and Oriental Churches, male and female, living in different countries and regions of Europe, who are engaged in their Churches and engaged in or interested in ecumenical work.


  • Engaging with youth perspectives from various European countries on how they perceive ecumenical work
  • To offer an ecumenical educational program to Christian youth from Orthodox and Oriental churches living in Europe to strengthen their faith and Christian witness.
  • Support, ecumenical empowerment and training of young multipliers to promote cooperation between churches and in societies in Europe
  • Promoting exchange and networking with young Christians from different orthodox and oriental churches living in Europe.