Politics and Society

2017 European Politics and Society Network

The European Politics and Society Network is designed to teach key Christian political, legal, and social leaders how to be salt and light through effectively communicating Christ’s character in their respective contexts. Applicants should be those who are working in the areas of politics, law, campaigning, or community action. Both seasoned lawyers, activists, and campaigners and aspirants will benefit from the input of leading thinkers and practitioners. This Network will be led by Nola Leach and Charlie Hoare. Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.




Nola Leach is a co-leader of the European Politics and Society Network and serves as the Chief Executive of CARE (Christian Action, Research & Education), one of Europe’s leading Christian charities which provides resources and helps bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives. CARE undertakes a variety of social caring and educational programmes and research. It is represented in the UK Parliaments and Assemblies, at the EU in Brussels, and at the UN in Geneva and New York. As Head of the Public Affairs team, she leads campaigns on topics such as human trafficking, Internet pornography, and the value of human life from its beginning to natural end. She has overseen the publication of Living Free, a sequel to the CARE book Searching for Intimacy – a resource designed to help those trapped in the net of Internet pornography. She is increasingly in demand as both a writer and public speaker. She has penned numerous articles, and regularly appears in the media.


Charlie Hoare is a co-leader of the European Politics and Society Network. He received his Bachelor's degree in History at the University of Durham. After a year of working for a British Member of Parliament, he studied law before taking a Masters degree at the London School of Economics in social policy and non-profit management. From 1998- 2012 he was CARE’s International Director. For the past year he has acted as a consultant focusing on International work. In addition to representing CARE at the United Nations, he has helped establish a strategic global network of policy makers, academics, politicians, and diplomats at the national and regional levels. He is married to Eleanor; they have a son and two daughters.


Cameron Dobbie is Executive Assistant to Nola Leach, CEO of CARE and has been the Politics and Society Network Administrator since 2013. After graduating from the University of St Andrews with a degree in Economics, Cameron moved to London to begin work at CARE. Cameron’s role in supporting Nola consists of various research projects and speaking engagements combined with the full time management of the Chief Executive’s office.  Cameron is married to Lorna who works for the CEO of a Christian youth work charity based in central London.


From 2011 on, the activities of the CPFE are financially supported by the European Parliament. The liability for any communication or publication by the CPFE, in any form and any medium, rests with the CPFE. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.




Paul Susman is a lawyer of Romanian origins with expertise in European Law. He works as a Legal Officer for the European Commission in Brussels and teaches EU  law at Handong International School of Law in South Korea. He is an LL.M. graduate of the Université Catholique de LouvainBelgium and obtained his doctorate degree in political science and international relations with a focus on diplomacy from the University of Matej Bel, Slovakia. Paul is a passionate advocate for Christian values and has been involved in numerous projects related to pro-family and pro-life aspects, including being the co-drafter of a proposed amendment to the Romanian Constitution regarding marriage. More recently, Paul has been involved with the Bodnariu case and has been interviewed by several media outlets, including BBC.


Joseph D’Souza is the Moderating Bishop of the Good Shepherd Church and Associated Ministries of India. He also serves as the President of the All India Christian Council.  He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for his work as a human rights activist. He is also the founder and International President of the Dalit Freedom Network.



Andrea Zaki Stephanous is a native of Minia, Egypt and currently resides in Cairo, Egypt. He studied religion and politics (PhD) at the University of Manchester , theological studies (MA) at Eastern University in Pennsylvania, and theology (BTh) at Cairo Evangelical Seminary. He has been involved in church based development activities, publishing, and dialogue for thirty years. Currently, He is the General Director of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) and serves as the President of the Protestant Churches of Egypt—posts he has held since 2010 and 2015, respectively. CEOSS is a leading Egyptian civil non-profit organisation that acts as an agent of change by empowering Egyptians to have access to the social, medical, and educational services they need to survive and thrive.


Michael Cassidy, the founder of African Enterprise, has been involved in evangelism, teaching and leadership ministries since 1962, the year he launched AE in Pietermaritzburg. Today, AE has evangelistic teams in Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zim babwe. He has been instrumental in calling together several major gatherings of church leaders over the years and also played a leading role in behind-the-scenes negotiations in the run-up to the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. Michael has written several books the latest being a treatise on John chapter 17, entitled The Church Jesus Prayed For. He is currently writing his memoirs. He is also an avid sports fan, particularly cricket, rugby, and tennis. He and his wife, Carol, live in Hilton, near Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. They have two daughters, a son, and eight grandchildren.




Freedom of Speech and Reasonable Accommodation
Speaker to Be Announced

In this session Fiona will explore the importance of freedom of speech and religion in society and look at issues of pluralism and equality. As both a qualified lawyer and a Member of the British Parliament in 2010; Fiona brings expertise in how religious freedoms are vitally important for the expression of our faith in society. Fiona has been involved in serval major projects in the UK looking at how the implementation of the reasonable accommodation could be used to protect Christians, and those of other faiths, to maximise their freedoms within society.

Emerging and Progressive Threats to Christian Religious Freedoms: An Update
Paul Susman

Christian values were and continue to be not only instrumental but also essential to the development of a free, equitable, and flourishing society where people enjoy the protection of their fundamental human rights. While freedom of expression and freedom of religion have always known some restrictions, the progressive attempt to redraft our societal and moral values has a drastic impact upon their interpretation. Slowly sweeping away the Christian fundamental values from the foundation of our society not only leaves an irreplaceable gap but also facilitates the creation of legal anomalies. Such anomalies include the legislative trends regarding abortion, same-sex marriage and child education. This presentation will give an update from Paul’s work since his presentation at ELF 2016 and provide key developments and encouragements from the Bodnariu case.



Learning Community: Leadership in the Public Square
Andrea Zaki Stephanous and Joseph D'Souza

This session will provide a unique opportunity to learn how God has grown and developed global leaders. The Network will learn together in community through opportunities for questioning and personal reflection. This particular learning community concept seeks to facilitate the best conversations possible around key topics that will bring about significant and long-lasting impact into the  lives and organisations to which participants belong.


Reconciliation in the Public Square
Michael Cassidy

In his comments Michael Cassidy will share out of the deep experiences of himself and his teams in the arenas of seeking reconciliation all across Africa, first in the Church and then spilling over into the Society and the Public Square. Michael will illustrate his points via stories out of reconciliation endeavours, for example in South Africa, Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere. He will also share about nation-changing gatherings and backstage Second-Track Diplomacy in the years running up to South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994. Some of the latter contributed significantly to South Africa coming through to a peaceful resolution of its deep conflicts in the years leading up to 1994. He will also articulate some of the key principles of what he calls “The Politics of Love,” this being the title of one of his important books written before Apartheid came down. Michael believes some of these principles are relevant for many other situations around the world, as for example when he shared them in Northern and Southern Ireland. 

A View from Africa's Great Lakes
Emmanuel Ndikumana



Session 1: TBA


Where Do We Go From Here? Painting a Better Picture
Charlie Hoare and Cameron Dobbie

There is no area in the realm of politics and society into which our Christian faith does not speak. Across this Network participants have grappled with considerable issues of our day and sought to understand how we as Christians can best stand for the Lord and help His Church shine as a light for hope and truth. This session will bring together the key points that have emerged from across the four days with opportunities for participants to express their take-home points.


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