Bulgaria holds forum on interfaith dialogue

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Sat Feb 4, 2012 12:38AM
Ivaylo Spasov, Press TV, Sofia

It’s not “tolerance” when you say “I don’t mind Muslims, but I don’t want to see them pray publicly”… This message was delivered in a forum in Sofia, dedicated to interfaith harmony. In scholars’ view, “tolerance” has turned into a shallow word with no real applications.

This representative of the governmental department for religious issues tells Press TV there is no interfaith tension in Bulgaria and that this is one tolerant society. Experts, however, doubt it.

In addition to addressing common messages, spiritual leaders urge this “power” to be focused also on common efforts to fight modern-day atrocities.

Gramatikov, a monk who has been ordained a deacon, says religion is not a gap but a bridge between people. He insists that, despite their different beliefs, in the end, people are judged by their deeds.

And as actions speak louder than words, in less than a month Bulgaria has hosted an exhibition on houses of prayer and a movie festival dedicated to the Middle East and North Africa, with a special focus on Iran. All of these come as attempts for Bulgaria to set a different example in times when Islamophobia is turning into an appealing political platform throughout the EU.

Over one million people are expected to take part in more than a thousand events throughout the world – exhibitions, fairs, discussion. All of them are held within the UN-sponsored World Interfaith Harmony Week.