20 Slovak korún coin from 1939 - obverse
20 Slovak korún coin from 1939 - obverse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
20 Slovak korún coin from 1941 - reverse
20 Slovak korún coin from 1941 - reverse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a year-old article, but its relevance is still in the present age, and in the age to come. Here is my take on matters such as this: In pacifying the godless, God is removed. And He is always a gentleman who doesn't force Himself into people's lives.
Read on...


BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Late last year, the National Bank of Slovakia announced that the European Commission, the union’s executive arm, had ordered it to remove halos and crosses from its commemorative euro coins due to be minted this summer.

The coins, designed by a local artist, were intended to celebrate the 1,150th anniversary of Christianity’s arrival in Slovak lands but have instead become tokens of the faith’s retreat from contemporary Europe. They featured two evangelizing Byzantine monks, Cyril and Methodius, and violated European diversity rules that ban any tilt toward a single faith.

At a time when Europe needs solidarity and a unified sense of purpose, religion has become yet another source of discord. It divides mostly secular Western Europe from profoundly religious nations in the east and those in between both in geography and in faith, like Slovakia.

The European Commission is under attack from all sides, denounced by atheists for even mild engagement with religion and by nationalist Christian fundamentalists as an agent of Satan.

Asked about such criticism, Katharina von Schnurbein, the commission official who reaches out to both religious and secular groups, smiled and said,” I can assure you that the European Commission is not the Antichrist.”

Europe is suffused with Christianity. Even the European Union’s flag-a circle of 12 yellow stars on a blue background-drew upon from an image of the Virgin Mary wearing a crown with 12 stars.

Throughout its modern history, however, the “European project” has sought to avoid religion and the unruly passions it can stir.

Ms. Von Schnurbein dismissed accusations of an anti-Christian agenda. “We deal with people of faith and also people of no faith,” she said.

The department that ordered Slovakia to redesign its coins said it had no real problem with halos and crosses, but demanded that they be deleted in the interest of “religious diversity” because of complaints from countries like France and Greece.

Several of the union’s most senior figures are Catholic. Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, has told supporters that “we don’t have too much Islam, we have too little Christianity.”

The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe slowed the secular tide somewhat as the European Union began to admit new and sometimes deeply religious countries like Poland, Romania, and Croatia, a largely Catholic country of 4.4 million and the latest to be admitted.

The 2007 Treaty of Lisbon, which reformed the original two treaties on which the European Union was founded, skipped any reference to Christianity and instead paid tribute to the “cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe.” It mandated dialogue with religious groups. But it also ordered equal treatment for “philosophical and non-confessional organizations,” which include groups whose principal philosophy is hostility to organized religion.

Stanislav Zvolensky, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Bratislava, said that efforts at European unity are doomed unless the union gives a bigger place to God. “Religion should be the inner strength of the union,” he said.

He does see one encouraging sign: Slovakia’s national bank has decided to stick with its original coin design, and the European Commission has gone along with the plan. The commemorative coins was minted in June – two months later than planned, but with halos and crosses.

Taken from TODAY Saturday Edition, July 6, 2013


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