Council of Europe (CoE) in Strasbourg dialogues with religions and convictional organisations

“Education should enable us to respect and live with difference, work towards common objectives, adapt to global change, confront religious violence, and respect dignity”: this was the strong message by participants to the panel on “education, awareness-raising on religion and beliefs, as well as dialogue and cooperation among and with religious and non-religious representatives”. This panel was part of the 2013 Council of Europe Exchange on the Religious Dimension of Intercultural Dialogue, on 2-3 September in Yerevan, under Armenian Chairmanship. The Strasbourg CEC office is always taking an active part in the preparations, and in 2013 the CSC Human Rights Secretary participated as a resource person in a panel on religious minorities.

The overall topic of the 2013 meeting was: “Freedom of religion in today’s world: challenges and guarantees”. The panel on education also underlined the need for a “good (universal) philosophy of human dignity, the existence of which is a foundation for the universal value of human rights”. No doubt that religion and Christianity and CEC member churches in particular, can contribute to such a foundation. They can also contribute to prevention of conflict and reconciliation, as well as fostering respect and tolerance among and between people of different religions and convictions, to strengthen peaceful living together in society. For more information clikc here

The Annual Exchange meetings on the Religious Dimension of Intercultural Dialogue have been organised since 2007 by the Committee of Ministers of the CoE, in consultation with representatives of faith and convictional organisations. These regular high level meetings (e.g. in presence of CoE Ambassadors to the CoE and of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicas o All Armenians) are a sign that national governments from the whole European continent take religion more and more seriously.

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