Ecumenical News International / 02 June 2005
Peaceful coexistence is aim of world churches' inter-faith gathering
Geneva, 2 June (ENI)--Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu
and other religious leaders are to gather in Geneva 7 to 9 June
at the invitation of the World Council of Churches which says it
hopes the meeting will provide a new impetus to inter-religious
"The question is no longer why do we need dialogue but rather how
do we transform dialogue into peaceful coexistence; how do we
translate dialogue into common action?" said WCC moderator
Catholicos Aram I of the Armenian Apostolic Church in a statement
The WCC says the conference is to bring together religious
leaders, academics, human rights activists, humanitarian workers,
journalists, and people working across religious traditions
coming from most parts of the world.
"Dialogue between faiths remains a high priority for the WCC, but
now there is a need to move into a new phase, into a dialogue of
life, society and ethics which all people struggle with," said
WCC general secretary, the Rev. Samuel Kobia.
The conference is to examine the challenges of violence and
prejudice which undermine dialogue, noted Kobia.
The WCC general secretary said in May at a meeting of Christian
leaders in Athens that interfaith dialogue would be a priority in
the future for the WCC, which groups 347 member churches mainly
from Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox traditions.
Kobia told the Athens meeting, "The dialogue that we have between
ourselves as Christians should also be extended to include people
of other faiths."
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