Conference on Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East
About The Event
The International Conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East,” was held in Athens on 30 and 31 October 2017, was a major international event taking place at a time when developments in the Middle East remain turbulent.
It was the second International Conference on this subject to be held on the initiative of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the first took place in October 2015, in Athens). Two years later, the Conference aspires to move ahead in taking stock of unresolved issues and strengthening a framework for dialogue among the various religious communities in the region, thus promoting rapprochement, networking, mutual respect and, ultimately, peaceful coexistence.
Through this initiative, Greece highlighted its role as a hub between East and West and as a factor for stability in the wider South-eastern Mediterranean. Exercising a multidimensional foreign policy and consistently promoting a culture of dialogue and consensus, Greece is enabling the countries and religious communities of the region to work towards rapprochement with each other, creating channels and networks of communication, and consolidating a positive agenda that promotes tolerance and pluralism.
In this context, the Conference looked at individual issues, such as the role of religious communities and their leaders in the reintegration and inclusion of refugees and migrants returning to their countries of origin, utilization of new technologies for improving communication between peoples and communities in the Middle East, and development of synergies between the participants for combating extremism.
Archbishop Hieronymus of Athens, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, nearly all of the Patriarchs of the Orthodox Churches, a high-ranking delegation from the Vatican, and prominent religious leaders from the Muslim and Jewish worlds honored the International Conference with their presence. Also important was the participation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and high-ranking delegations from nearly all of the countries of the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
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