On 6 September, a conference with over 150 participants from religious and political institutions and civil society, having in common a great experience in social and religious contexts inside and outside EU, took place in Brussels.
The event launched a new international platform called by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission and also host of the conference, “an Erasmus for civil society actors working on faith and social inclusion.”
This new initiative is called ”Global Exchange on Religion in Society” and it is created in order to assure connection, mutual learning, fruitful dialogue, and experience sharing for individuals with backgrounds dealing with both social inclusion and religion. On a personal note, the EU High Representative expressed her confidence in the increased recognition through this platform of the beneficial role of religion in society, especially when it comes to its contribution in social integration, tolerance, and coexistence. The program will try to connect and empower people, amplifying voices which would have been otherwise ignored or silenced by media biases and the predominance of news about extremism, rejection of diversity and exclusion. The speaker also insisted on the importance of bringing forward hopeful stories of integration and humanitarian efforts accomplished by people “not in spite of their faith, but because of their faith.”
Federica Mogherini’s presentation was followed by responses from Dr. Swati Chakraborty, Lokahi participant and Professor at Schoolguru Eduserve Pvt. Ltd, India, and Dr. Peter Mandaville, Professor at George Mason University and former US State Department official, and audience interventions.
The “Global Exchange on Religion in Society” will be activated in the first half of 2020.
Photo Credit: europost.eu