Position of the Council concerning the PARLIAMENT of RELIGIONS – Brussels 2014
1. Basis work : partnership
The different religions and spiritual movements in Belgium bear the task of promoting social cohesion and a shared vision of peace. Whilst they are aware of their different approaches, they endeavor to respect each other’s beliefs and traditions and may on occasion consider joint action. The undersigned members, who hold positions of responsibility within their traditions, encourage dialogue towards a common commitment.
The Belgian Council of Religious Leaders is independent, apolitical and works on the basis of consensual dialogue.
The Interfaith Council of Belgium sees itself as a structure of esteem and confidence between representatives of different religions and spiritualities. The primary objective of this Council is to offer its contribution to a harmonious society by bearing witness to the human and spiritual values that inspire its members. It aims to address issues of ethical, moral and societal interest, where appropriate inciting its members to action.
- Archbishop Leonard – Catholic Church
- Guy Liagre – Protestant and evangelical Church
- Francis Renneboog – Protestant and evangelical Church
- Metropolitan Panteleimon – Orthodox Church
- Robert Innes – Anglican Church
- Abdulaziz M. Al-Yahya – Islam Community
- Semsettin Ugurlu- Islam Community
- Ahmed Hany Mahfoud -Islam Community
- Albert Guigui – Jewish Community
- Lama Karta – Buddhist Community
- Phra Suddhinanavides – Buddist Community
- Frank De Waele – Buddhist Community
- Herman Janssens – Hindu Community
- Ramesh Mehta – Jaïn Community
2. The Council is committed to active tolerance and officially took position on this on
September 11, 2010 with a declaration:: “Based on this understanding of tolerance we as religious leaders commit ourselves to work individually and together to translate an attitude of tolerance into transformative acts of toleration. In our teaching, preaching and leadership we will emphasize that in our religions which inspire mutual respect and acceptance. We speak clearly and publicly against, and when required we confront, that which fosters intolerance and discrimination. We will do all we can to counter any form of hate speech or other hate crimes, whether it is in the form of anti-semitism, islamophobia, attacks on Christians or any other religion”.
3. Position of the Council concerning the project “Parliament of Religions –Brussels- 2014”
The BCRL has learned of a private initiative to hold the Parliament of Religions in Brussels in 2014.
This project was greeted with initial enthusiasm. However issues raised by the Council as to what is the background for this initiative have not received any accurate response despite a number of steps being taken.
Moreover, the Council deplores the lack of clarity surrounding the participation of some of the people in the original organizing committee, and at the finance and procedural levels which seem to be in contradiction with the stated aims. For these reasons, the Belgian Council of Religious Leaders has decided not to take part as a body in the committee organizing this event.Belgian Council of Religious Leaders