Föderation für Weltfrieden
Universal Peace Federation Austria
Die Föderation für Weltfrieden lädt Sie herzlich ein zu einem Symposium mit dem Thema
Interreligiöser Dialog, die Rolle der UNO und Frieden im 21. Jahrhundert
Donnerstag, 8. Dezember 2011, ab 14:00 Uhr
Ort: Seidengasse 28/4 im Hof rechts, 1070 Wien
14:30 Alliance of Civilizations (Dr. Walther Lichem)
Die Bedeutung von Religion im heutigen China (Dr. Ulrike Kraus)
Die Rolle des Islams in der Ägyptischen Revolution (Dr. Elsayed Elshahed)
16:30 Eine Reise nach Burma, ins Land der 1000 Pagoden (Peter H. Jurkowitsch)
Friedenstreffen in Assisi 2011- Wie geht es weiter? (Claudia Henzler)
Ein interreligiöser Rat in der UNO (Dr. Leo Gabriel)
Die Rolle der Jugend im Interreligiösen Dialog
18:00 Kleines Buffet und kultureller Abschluss
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Interfaith, the United Nations and Peace in the 21st Century
Consultation on the establishment of an “Interreligious Council” as an organ of the United Nations
Wednesday, December 8th 2010
The Conference took place in the afternoon of December
8th 2010 in
The initial speaker of the first session of the
conference was Ambassador Dr. Walther Lichem, a former Austrian Ambassador to
In his speech Dr. Lichem also spoke about the challenge of the people in the 21st century to live in a society of neighbors with multiple identities. He further emphasized the importance of respect for every culture and the necessity of an open and interested mindset while living together in a peaceful, harmonious and probably happy setting despite experiencing otherness when we look at the religious or cultural traditions of people around us today.
The second speaker was Fr. Richard Reinisch, a
Benedictine monk from the famous monastery of Goettweig, located on a mountain
overlooking the river
The third speaker was Alexej Klutschewsky, a Russian anthropologist, whose topic was “How could the Orthodox world deal with an Interreligious Council at the UN?”
Mr. Klutschewsky explained that in
Then Dr. Herbert Rauch, a sociologist and social philosopher, who had participated in international UPF-Conferences made his statement. First he praised the atmosphere of generosity and hospitality created by UPF. He can clearly see that the agenda of UPF – promoting an Interreligious Council at the UN – is the right idea at the right time, because the global problems are increasing, and they need to be resolved!
He emphasized three topics on which there should be global agreement:
We need to give “reason” a more prominent place in our interreligious discussions again!
After Dr. Rauch’s contribution there was a coffee break with refreshments.
The first speaker of the second session was Prof. Dr.
Elsayed Elshahed, director of the
One of Prof. Elshahed’s great achievements was
organizing a Conference on “World-Ethos” in
Also, Prof. Elshahed could get the Saudi Arabian
government to participate in the Parliament of World Religions in
The opportunity to practice readiness for criticism opened right away when the next speaker unfolded his ideas. Mag. Christian Zeitz, secretary general of the Austrian academic society, a rather conservative Christian federation, first gave an enthusiastic report on the August 2000 Conference in New York, which he was lucky to participate in ten years ago, when Father Moon introduced the idea of an Interreligious Council at the UN for the first time. Mag. Zeitz could meet so many important people there as never before in his life.
Then, Mr. Zeitz put up three questions for the interreligious dialogue:
qualified and do they represent their communities? Another problem Mr. Zeitz sees is that while we are engaged in dialogue, there are things going on in the world which nullify the efforts of the dialogue.
Also, according to Mr. Zeitz, the question of religious freedom has to be separated from juridical or social questions, which have to be dealt with by the legal system and through political representation. After Mr. Zeitz’ speech, which included some criticism of developments within the Muslim community in Austria and internationally, like the persecution of Christians in the Arabic world, tensions between him and Prof. Elshahed became quite apparent, and it was clear to all participants that as UPF we have to invest continuously into this interreligious dialogue, putting all our efforts into it.
As a last lecture Mr. Heinrich Krcek, a Unificationist who had been a Benedictine monk before, introduced the book “World Scripture”, an anthology which introduces sacred texts of the world’s religions. Mr. Krcek mentioned that we are on our way to a world culture and no religion can stand by itself. More and more theologians are calling for a world level theology. After Mr. Krcek’s speech there were questions from the audience to the speakers.
As a final highlight of the conference Mr. Warren
Rosenzweig, founder of the Jewish theater in
A small buffet dinner with many individual discussions concluded this very meaningful conference.
(Mag. Elisabeth Cook
The United Nations was founded in 1945 to protect succeeding generations from the scourge of war, poverty, hunger and disease and to work towards the realization of world peace. Despite its inception with such lofty ideals, the UN has not been able to come close to global peace even with the investment of tremendous resources, and today it faces even greater challenges.
The existing United Nations structure, composed of national representatives, may be regarded as a congress where the interests of each member nation are represented. However, I submit that serious consideration should be given to forming a religious assembly, or council of religious representatives within the structure of the United Nations. This assembly or council would consist of respected spiritual leaders in fields such as religion, culture, and education.
Remarks of Dr. Moon at the United Nations, August 18, 2000