Code of Ethics
“Austria prays together” (ÖBG) was chosen as the title because we want to continue the very inspiring prayer initiative for Austria from April of this year, “Germany prays together” (DBG), in order to simultaneously create something independent in our country. As with DBG, all churches and ecclesial communities, as well as Christians as individuals, are invited to pray together.
This general invitation should be expressed through the formula “pray together”. With this formula ÖBG does not want to take any church, church community or individual. We are happy for all who participate and have full understanding for all those who cannot decide to do so at the moment.
This open invitation requires Christian circles to unite with one another in prayer for our country and the world, circles that perhaps have had little to do with one another and have had mutual reservations. May this common prayer become the occasion for further steps of getting to know each other and of careful confidence building.
ÖBG does not automatically stand behind all theological statements of all supporters. Christians of all confessional backgrounds, who see themselves as the center of our faith from Jesus Christ, who share the common creed of the churches (Apostolic and Nicanum) and also otherwise in an appreciative attitude and, as far as possible, work together with Christians of all kinds, are cordially invited to pray with us and also to contribute ideas.
ÖBG uses the words “Austria” and “Nation” as well as the colors of the Austrian flag in their everyday political meaning of our democratic and pluralistic state. We stand before God as representatives for all people in Austria, in Europe, in the world, whether they have an Austrian passport or not. ÖGB has nothing to do with völkisch ideology, but rather rejects it firmly.
ÖBG considers all people and all nations and peoples equal before God. We are aware of the fact that there are nations and peoples who are worse affected by the crisis or who are threatened with much worse consequences due to poverty. They are the object of our special intercession. But since Austria is our home, our initiative has its origin here. We know we are connected with similar initiatives worldwide. Prayer with and for people in other countries is a major concern of ÖBG.
From the very beginning, ÖBG has expressed its respect for the Jewish people and opposes all forms of anti-Semitism. As ÖBG we know that Jesus prayed as a Jew and that we as Christians have taken over the tradition of prayer from the Jews to a large extent. The initiators guarantee that the ÖBG is not an attempt to assimilate or missionize Jewish fellow citizens. We want to pray together with them to the God who is the creator and saviour of the world.
ÖBG encourages a prayer of repentance, because Christians come before God beginning with repentance and conversion. In the worship services of the Christian churches, particularly pronounced in Eastern, Catholic and Lutheran liturgies, Christians ask God every Sunday for forgiveness of their guilt and confess that they have become guilty towards God and other people. Christian prayer always involves three things: self-criticism and humility in confession of sins, intercession and thanksgiving to God. At the same time, the ÖBG does not want to express that the guilt of people is the immediate reason for the Corona crisis or that this crisis came over mankind as a direct punishment of God for this guilt.
ÖBG does not take a special position on eschatology (end times) beyond what is part of the common confession of the Christian churches in the Apostolic Creed. These Christian doctrinal statements and related interpretations are not addressed in the context of ÖBG. In this sense, ÖBG does not classify the current crisis in any “eschatological road map” and does not want to argue in any way for end-time analyses. Any convictions of individual supporters of ÖBG do not stand for the initiative as such and are not given a platform to spread their views on ÖBG.
The initiators of “Austria prays together” (This document is based on a template prepared by Prof. DDr. Thomas Schirrmacher for “Germany prays together”)