Prominent Arab Christian, Muslim Leaders at KAICIID Conference to Promote Coexistence and Social Cohesion
Vienna, 12 February 2018: The highest representatives of Christian and Muslim communities from the Arab region will gather in Vienna from 26 to 27 February 2018 at a conference organized by the Vienna-based International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID). Participants at the conference, titled “Interreligious Dialogue for Peace: Promoting Peaceful Coexistence & Common Citizenship”, will agree on a joint action plan for Arab religious leaders to lead the way in repairing the divisions created by extremists like ISIS and rebuild social cohesion and common citizenship in the Arab Region .
Participants from a Diverse Range of Religious Communities
Several senior religious leaders confirmed their active participation at the conference including Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Bishop Miguel Ayuso, Secretary, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Dr. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League; Patriarch Bartholomew; Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Eastern Orthodox Church; Grand Mufti, Egypt, His Eminence Sheikh Dr. Shawki Ibrahim Allam; Grand Mufti, Lebanon, His Eminence Sheikh Abdul-Latif Derian; Grand Mufti, Palestine, His Eminence Sheikh Mohammed Hussein; Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, Maronite Church; Patriarch Aram Keshishian, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, Armenian Apostolic Church; Prof. Dr. Suliman Aba Al-Khail, Dean, Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University, and Member of the Saudi Arabian Senior Scholars Committee, and Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki Stephanous, Evangelical Church of Egypt, in addition to over 200 religious leaders, policymakers, academics, and representatives of international and civil society organizations.
The conference represents a further milestone in KAICIID’s programme to promote social cohesion and peaceful coexistence in the Arab region. To this end, KAICIID has been working with religious leaders and policymakers across the region for a positive contribution to peace building, through interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
An important outcome
As a keystone strategic initiative, the Centre’s programme in the Arab region will launch at the Vienna conference a first of its kind a platform for the highest leaders of Christian and Muslim communities in the region; a space where they can cooperate to jointly promote the best interests of all the people in the region. No such platform currently exists in the region. Religious leaders and policymakers consider this institution essential; the lack of such a platform is as an obstacle to sustained interreligious dialogue.
Faisal Bin Muaammar, Secretary General of KAICIID said: “When we began our work in the region in 2014, the world was reeling from the impact of groups like Daesh (or ISIS), who were systematically engaged in dismembering the religious and cultural diversity that forms the foundation of Arab societies and culture. Even though that threat may be past, there is much work to be done to rebuild the sense of common citizenship that has been eroded. Religious leaders and policymakers need to work together, and with civil society and the international community, to achieve this. The conference will represent a concrete step in this direction.”
KAICIID in the Arab Region
KAICIID launched in 2014 an ambitious programme to train young religious leaders and dialogue advocates to promote dialogue on social media, which has trained over 200 participants from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and other countries in the region. Many of those participants /trainees continue to implement social media initiatives and actions in support of diversity and peaceful coexistence. Another result of the Centre’s advocacy and field work is the first-ever network of religious faculties in the Arabic-speaking world, in which Muslim and Christian educational institutions work together on common curriculum development. Through the Arab Fellows programme, KAICIID has also created a network of young leaders who promote interreligious dialogue in their own communities to support social cohesion.
How to Participate
Members of the media are cordially invited to accredit themselves to attend the conference by emailing [email protected]. More information on the speakers, as well as interview opportunities, are available on request.
A limited number of travel grants are available for media outside Vienna. Please email [email protected] for more details.
For more information:
Nayana Jayarajan, KAICIID Communications
+43 1 313 22 408