Etienne De Jonghe – Belgium


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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148 thoughts on “Etienne De Jonghe – Belgium

  1. I strongly support the candidacy of Etienne De Jonghe for the Public Peace Prize. I have worked with him for many years in the arena of international peacebuilding. The length and breadth of his public service has been astonishing.

  2. Since I was a young reseacher at the University of Antwerp, Etienne was known for his interest in polemology and his engagement in peace.

  3. i support entirely the nomination of Etienne de Jonghe for the Peace Prize of Pax Christi. Giuliana Bonino- Ivrea /Italy,

  4. Since 1970, Etienne De Jonghe has been very active to develop international and national networks to promote justice and peace around the world.

  5. I fully support the nomination of Etienne De Jonghe for the new Public Peace Prize. Etienne has given his whole active life to develop Pax Christi International as a strong, inspiring and worldwide peace movement, dedicated to demilitarisation and disarmement, human rights and peoples rights, peace education and reconciliation, interreligious dialogue and interconfessional collaboration for peace. As small collaborator with Etienne I know his passion and enless energy to overcome hatery and fanatism in order to built up a world of tolerance, social justice and mutual respect without frontiers. He is also an inspiring peace builder for the coming generations.

  6. I am in complete support of the nomination of Etienne De Jonghe. His vision and action for peace have been firm and consistent his entire life. Thank you Etienne for you dedication and love.

  7. Elizabeth (Beth) Beglay
    I support Eteinne DeJonghe. In gratitiude for a lifetime of work for Peace and for Pax Christi.

  8. I strongly recommend Etienne’s nomination, he has been an inspiration yo many, when thinking in Étienne, partnership and commitment with peace come to my mind!

  9. Etienne has a good and deep understanding of peace issues. Moreover, he has a strategic sense that points the way to possible solutions to conflicts and disputes. He deserves the Public Peace Prize. Paul Lansu

  10. As I have knowm Etienne for so many years in the peace movement and interfaith initiatives, I am very happy to support his nomination for the Peace Prize,

    Jan Van Eycken

  11. I strongly support Etienne de Jonghe to be the recipient of the 2019 Public Peace Prize. I knew Etienne as Secretary General of Pax Christi International. He was a devoted peacemaker and a warm and gracious leader. I’ve also heard Etienne speak since then, sharing the history of Pax Christi through all the trials and tribulations of world conflicts and challenges to the faith that make peacemaking such a life-long commitment. Etienne has truly earned this honor. I look forward to hearing the results of your discernment.

  12. I fully agree with what I have just read here on top of the page. I hope that winning this prize, he may get another support for his work now dealing with Eastern Europe.

  13. Etienne is en was voor velen een voorbeeld in heel het vredeswerk, actief geweldloos en met heelveel inzicht.

  14. Etienne is more than thousand times worth this Public Peace Prize Nomination! I was lucky and enriched by cooperating closely with him during a number of years in my position as International Treasurer of Pax Christi International in Brussels. What an enrichtment. And my wife and I are happy to continuing meeting Etienne and Magda regularely. Congratulations.

  15. Ik bewonder Etienne al vele jaren voor zijn levenswerk: vrede bewerkstelligen via de Pax Christi beweging!

  16. I fully support the nomination of Eteinne De Jonghe. His strong commitment to peace, disarmemnt and reconciliation makes the prize well deserved.

  17. Eteinne De Jonghe helped the IPB in organizing events on military spending, disarmament and peace. His support was indispensable and we remain very grateful.

  18. I strongly and with pleasure support Etienne’s nomination for this prize. It’s been always an honour to work with him.

  19. I am happy to support the candidature of Etienne de Jonghe. He has contributed greatly to international peace and security as secretary general of Pax Christi International.

  20. Etienne DeJonghe has devoted his life to pursuing peace and nonviolence — which our suffering, fractured world needs most of all right now. His steadfast fidelity to a life of peace merits the Public Peace Prize. I support his nomination, with gratitude and admiration.

    Mary T. Yelenick

  21. Wij steunen van harte en volledig de nominatie van Etienne! Vanaf het moment dat wij in België zijn komen wonen in 1971 – vanuit Nederland – hebben we ons geëngageerd in Pax Christi. Daar ontmoetten we Etienne, toen hij nog verantwoordelijk was voor PX-Vlaanderen, later in PXI. We hebben aan diverse programma’s en activiteiten meegewerkt, ook via algemene vergaderingen. Telkens weer werden wij geraakt en aangemoedigd door het enthousiasme en het diepe geloof van Etienne in het vredeswerk. Tot op de dag van vandaag inspireert hij ons, ook nu we het vredeswerk op andere manieren doen. Zo ben ik (Miecke) Voorzitter van de ‘Gemeentelijke Werkgroep Wapenstilstand’ in Boechout, waar we elk jaar opnieuw weer aan ‘Vrede’ werken vanuit een breed scala van getuigenissen en herdenkingen. Ten diepste is Etienne – gesteund door Magda – daar in ons leven mee verbonden. Ook via familie in/uit India, die met vredeswerk bezig zijn en die ook in nauw contact staan met Etienne, houden wij het vol en geloven we er intens in, dat dit de enige weg is om oorlogen en conflicten aan te pakken!

  22. I support the choice of Etienne De Jonghe for the Public Peace Prize for 2019. He was a long-time General Secretary of Pax Christi International and has been a tireless advocate of non-violent solutions to conflict, going back to decades.
    Fr. Francis J. Breen, MM

  23. I fully support Etienne de Jonghe to get this Peace Prize, he deserves it for a long career working in peace organisations. I’ve been Board member fellow of International Peae Bureau the last years, and he’s contributions have been always crucial to get the objectives of the organisation: no more wars, peace in the world. He has been an example and an inspiring person for all pepole that like me, wnt to work for peace all our life.

  24. I support Eteinne DeJonghe. In gratitiude for a lifetime of work for international relationships in Peace. He would be an excellence choice.

  25. It has been a privilege to work with Eteinne DeJonghe on the Board of the International Peace Bureau (IPB). He makes very helpful, thoughtful, and well-informed contributions which has strengthened the IPB’s work significantly. I support the candidacy of Eteinne DeJonghe for this award. Steven Staples, IPB Board Member, Toronto, Canada

  26. I remember the Pax Christi Youth Route in 1991 – short after the fall of the iron-wall in Europa . The theme was: Crossing Borders. Etienne initiated that time many routes to Austria coming from abroad (Germany, Tchechoslowakia, Italy, Hungary, …
    I support his nomination very much!

  27. I support Etienne De Jonghe for the Public Peace Prize 2019!!! Thank you, Etienne.
    Lisa Pelletti Clark, Co-President, International Peace Bureau.

  28. I strongly suppport Etienne, as he is a person who dedicated all his life and all his efforts to peacemaking and human rights. I know him more than 20 years. He helped a lot to our NGO Soldiers Mothers of St. Petersburg and The House of Peace and Non-Violence. He is very sensitive to unjustice and human rights violations and very supportive in action.

  29. I am delighted to join such theological luminaries as Bob Schreiter and Mary Ellen Francoeur in expressing my hope that the great Etienne De Jonghe will be the recipient of this wonderful prize. Adelante Esteban!

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