Premier Leterme on interfaith breakfast

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Prime Minister Yves Leterme in Antwerp this morning a breakfast meeting attended by leaders and representatives of Christian, Jewish and Islamic communities of our country.

“I want to emphasize the importance that I and the authorities of this country committed to creating spaces for interfaith encounter,” said the prime minister.

“Everywhere in the world, you see that religions stand for religious freedom, which is important for the cohesion of modern societies. An open and pluralistic society like ours must not get bogged down in (religious) indifference. This is a mistake that is sometimes made. ”

The “Interfaith Harmony Breakfast” was organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio in the framework of the World Interfaith Harmony Week. Initiated by the King of Jordan, the United Nations recently the first week of February is named for the time around the world to promote interfaith dialogue initiatives.

More than fifty representatives of the monotheistic religions in our country attended the meeting at. Among them Johan Bonny, bishop of Antwerp, Giacinto Berloco, the representative of the Holy See in our country, Semsettin Ugurlu, president of the Muslim Executive, and Laurent Trau, chairman of the Shomre Hadas community of the Jewish community. The partners of the so-called Antwerp trialogue – Rabbi Aaron Malinsky, Canon Henry Hoet and Imam Jamal Maftouhi – were present

Olive tree
At different tables were trialogue discussions, not only theologians, priests, rabbis and imams, but also journalists from different religious belief, women, pastors and hospital were talking to each other. At the end of the meeting together representatives planted an olive tree, as a sign of hope for a future of peace.

Organizer Jan De Volder Sant’Egidio suggested that the challenge of the 21st century is “the clash of civilizations to fight”, but instead to encourage the development of a “civilization of society”. He also underscored that there is often the need for interreligious dialogue is spoken, but which in practice far too little is being conducted. The Community of Sant’Egidio is committed both locally and internationally for peace and reconciliation, particularly through the encounter between people of different cultures and beliefs to promote. (Belga / cfu)