Etienne De Jonghe – Belgium

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Builder of peace, engaged in the formation of international networks for the demilitarization, the disarmament, the reconciliation and the rights of the peoples.

Mr. Etienne De Jonghe grew up in Belgium in a Europe immersed in the uncertainties of the Cold War. After studying political science, international relations at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), and the sciences of peace and conflict at the Polemological Institute of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands, 1968-1970), he directed his professional life towards peace education. For thirty years he was Secretary General of Pax Christi International where he worked to consolidate and develop this movement born in 1945 for Franco-German reconciliation. When he retired in 2008, the movement has a hundred member organizations spread across worldwide.

Endowed with a strong contact capacity and a deep sense of justice, he has patiently woven links with citizens of Central and Eastern Europe who have engaged in civil society to advance respect for human rights. In critical years when Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo appeal to Pax Christi, Etienne helps to organize a continental network of groups and organizations that mobilize for peace and reconciliation. At the call of Archbishop Oscar Romero, El Salvador, and other circles in Colombia, Peru and Brazil, a continental network is taking shape in Latin America, in defense of communities affected by violent conflict and the mining industries.

Since retiring, Etienne has been participating in seminars, symposiums and conferences alongside people eager to create a world free from violence, for a lasting peace. His extensive knowledge of European institutions and East-West relations is thus used to create and organize new forums for dialogue to combat intolerance and the effects of populism. For more than thirty years, he has been interested in the role that major religions can play in promoting the conditions for a just and lasting peace, for example by participating in dialogues between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Also, he has regularly been involved in the CCADD, Christian Approaches to Demilitarization and Disarmament to organise annual gatherings.

Currently, he is active at the European Council of Religious Leaders; he sits on the boards of directors of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) based in Berlin and Brussels, the European Network on Religions and Beliefs (ENORB), and VIRA, a Dutch-Flemish association which organizes conferences on international affairs and brings together a large group of diplomats, journalists and academics in Brussels. Since 2018, in the name of Pax Christi International and with the leaders of Dutch civil society and two Polish faith-based organizations, Etienne has set up a four-year project (2018-2022) which is developing a network with faith-based civil society groups active in Central and Eastern Europe. The aim is to promote pluralistic democracy, dialogue and cooperation, in particular because of the rise of populism and authoritarianism on the European continent.

In short, by his faith, his convictions, his action, and with the constant support of his wife Magda Van Damme, Etienne De Jonghe is a true builder of peace. He is well deserving of this recognition by the Public Peace Prize.

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64 thoughts on “Etienne De Jonghe – Belgium

  1. Etienne de Jongue certainly deserves recognition for the extraordinary work he has done over many years in building and strengthening Pax Christi International and specifically in carrying forward a large number of its international projects for peace. I heartily endorse his nomination

    • Etienne deJonghe has devoted a large part of his life to the growth of Pax Christi International as it is today a gathering of dedicated peacemakers from all over the world. He deserves the International Peace Prize. I fully support his nomination.

    • Etienne deJonghe has devoted a large part of his life to the growth of Pax Christi International as it is today a gathering of dedicated peacemakers from all over the world. He deserves the International Peace Prize. I fully support his nomination.

    • With many of his other friends I rejoice at the news of Etienne’s nomination end add my name to the list of supporters. May he and his spouse Magda continue their admirable work for years to come!
      Remi J. DeRoo, retired Bishop of Victoria, Canada

  2. Pax Christi Toronto appreciates the indefatigable work of Etienne De Jonghe.
    His presence among us more than a decade ago remains a touchstone for us and an inspiration for our little flock.

  3. I wish to support the nomination of Etienne De Jonghe for the Peace Prize because of his hard work during 30 years of his life. He earns it!

    • Etienne De Jonghe deserves to obtain the Public Peace Price because of his commitment during his whole career !

  4. Etienne De Jonghe merits the Public Peace Price as a real peace builder; he has dedicated his whole life to building a more just and lasting peace in the world:
    – With his enthousiasm, passion, dedication, endless energy and expertise in the area of peace and conflicts, he has been pleading every day charismatically from a deep sense of social justice within him for disarmament, demilitarisation and reconciliation and the rights of peoples;
    – With his leadership during 30 years as Secretary General, he contributed to expanding the peace movement to a hundred member organisations working on peace across the world;
    – He is encouraging dialogues, cooperation and bridges for peace between groups of different beliefs and religions throughout the world;
    – He has inspired many, without seeking recognition.

  5. ik steun etienne dejonghealskandidaat voor zijn levenslange inzet voor het ontwapenen en de vrede in de wereld.

  6. We support the nomination of Etienne because of his had work for Pax Christi during more than 30 years

  7. Etienne de Jonghe has been a tireless and dedicated worker for peace who played a critical role in ending the Cold War. Albeit little known, under Etienne’s leadership Pax Christi, which had good relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, became a back-channel conduit between it and the Vatican. Etienne’s activities as a ‘go-between’ led to the Vatican sending a high-level delegation to the Russian Orthodox Church’s 1988 millennium celebrations. Afterwards, Gorbachev visited John Paul II who welcomed perestroika and glasnost, and gave support to Gorbachev during the significant changes that led to the end of the Cold War. Etienne and Pax Christi deserve recognition for helping to bring the Cold War to a peaceful resolution.

  8. We also support the nomination of Etienne De Jonghe for the Peace Prize because of his work with Pax Christi

  9. I strongly endorse the nomination of Etienne de .Jonghe for the Public Peace Prize! I have personally witnessed his outstanding commitment to global peacebuilding . He was a remarkable leader of Pax Christi International for many years and he continues to be of service to causes for the global common good! He deserves this award!

  10. I wish to support the nomination of Etienne De Jonghe for the peace prize. He certainly deserves it!

  11. I fully endorse the nomination of Etienne de Jonghe. Having worked in the peace movement alongside Etienne for many years I’ve always been so impressed by his political and historical knowledge, his familiarity with peace initiatives across the world, and his fresh enthusiasm to anaylyse, strategise, dialogue and plan how to take things forward along the path of nonviolence. He is patient, practical, persistent and very good humoured: a peace worker for the long haul who definitely deserves recognition.

  12. Etienne has committed a lifetime of service in the promotion of dialogue, peace, reconciliation and local community and grass roots participation. He merits special recognition for his commitment to humanity.
    Fr. Michael Perry, OFM
    Minister General
    Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans)
    Rome, Italy

  13. WE WISH TO SUPPORT THE NOMINATION OF ETIENNE DE JONGHE FOR HIS WORK, HIS LIFE
    HIS FAMILY AND ALL THE WARMTH HE HAS GIVEN US

  14. Etienne De Jonghe merits the Public Peace Price as a real peace builder; he has dedicated his whole life to building a more just and lasting peace in the world:
    – With his enthousiasm, passion, dedication, endless energy and expertise in the area of peace and conflicts, he has been pleading every day charismatically from a deep sense of social justice within him for disarmament, demilitarisation and reconciliation and the rights of peoples; ​
    – With his leadership during 30 years as Secretary General, he contributed to expanding the peace movement to a hundred member organisations working on peace across the world; ​
    – He is encouraging dialogues, cooperation and bridges for peace between groups of different beliefs and religions throughout the world; ​
    – He has inspired many, without seeking recognition.

  15. The longstanding commitment and hard work of Etienne De Jonghe in peacebuilding deserves this recognition.

  16. Knowing Etienne since he was a student at the Catholic University of Leuven and following as an outsider his long career as a servant of peace and as a bridge builder between peoples I fully endorse his candidacy.

  17. I have known Etienne de Jonghe for about 40 years in the peace world and as a friend.
    I am only too glad to give him the warmest recommendation for a peace prize
    Etienne is not only hard working, very committed and full of good ideas, but he has other qualities which are just as important. He has a generous spirit, warm hearted and a great team leader. He encourages rather than criticises I suspect that he works as hard now in the interest of peace as he did when full time with Pax Christi. You could not make a better choice…

  18. Katrien Alexander geeft van harte haar steun aan Etienne De Jonghe voor de vredesprijs omwille van zijn jarenlange inzet voor het oplossen van oorlogsconflicten vanuit Pax Christi Internationaal

  19. We fully agressief with the enthusiasm of those who support the candidacy of Etienne De Jonghe for the Peace Prize as he has worked unrelentlessly for more than 30 years for the purpose of peace .

  20. As a former president of Pax Christi Flanders I realise how important the peace work of Etienne De Jonghe has been and is for all of us. His international orientation brought us together from all over the world and inspires us for the peace work that has to be done.

  21. I fully endorse the idea of a peace prize voor Etienne De Jonghe. His influence on more than one generation of peace activists can’t be underestimated.
    Johan Verstraeten

  22. I fully endorse the nomination of Etienne De Jonghe for the Public Peace Prize and can only express my sincere hope for him to be awarded this Prize. As a recognition for the conviction and efforts he has put into peacebuilding and reconciliation throughout the world.

  23. Chers Mis,
    Recevez mon soutien a la candidature de Etienne De Jonghe pour “Prixpublicpaix”.
    Je la bonne chancve de faire sa connessaincet en 1976 i de connaitre, depuis cette date tout son trevail bien elargi thematiquement et geogrhafiquemen pour la paix. Une vie dedié a la bonne entente entre les personnes et les peuples.

  24. As a member of Pax Christi’s global movement I am aware of the huge contribution he has given to Pax Christi International as its former Secretary-General. He desrves the Public Peace Prize!

  25. I fully endorse the nomination of Etienne De Jonghe for the Peace prize. He did his work at Pax Christi International with humility and commitment all the years for the promotion and protection of human dignity!

  26. Etienne De Jonghe certainly deserves the Peace Price for his huge engagement and contribution to the peace process on an international level

  27. Etienne is a peacemaker who has mentored generations of peacemakers around the world. His work has elevated grassroots peacemaking on every continent and given voice to countless communities struggling for peace with justice. He is deserving of the recognition that the Public Peace Prize confers and will be an outstanding representative to all who hunger for peace!

  28. All support for Etienne de Jonghe. I fully endorse his nomination. It would be a reward, first of all for himself (and of course Magda) , but also for Pax Christi.

  29. I cannot think of anybody more deserving of this prize than Etienne de Jonghe, for his own personal life-long dedication to peace-making and as recognition of the work of Pax Christi which he so tirelesly represented for decades

  30. Etienne De Jonghe deserves the Public Peace Prize for his commitment to initiatives at local and International level to promote peace in the world throughout his whole life.

  31. Etienne De Jonghe deserves the Public Peace Prize for his commitment to initiatives at local and International level to promote peace in the world throughout his whole life.

  32. Etienne De Jonghe deserves the “Public Peace Prize” for his commitment to Peace initiatives throughout his whole life.

  33. Etienne De Jonghe merite le Prix Publique pour la Paix pour son immense engagement pour la paix dans le monde a travers des initiatives locales et internationales pour la reconciliation et la paix, pour la demilitarisation et les droits des peuples et pour la justice sociale.

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