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What the Action is about

Network of cooperation between member states on interreligious dialogue and religious practices

Interreligious dialogue and its significance

The role of religion in societies is of great significance: it provides answers to metaphysic and existential questions, has a key effect on individual and collective attitudes, shapes identities, solidifies moral values and social institutions, and affects economic and cultural progress. Religious practices, ideas and doctrines constitute in other words basic elements of contemporary multicultural societies.

Intolerance is thus a form of discrimination and an obstacle to progress. In a constantly changing world, individuals become victims of unfair treatment, illegal practices and arbitrary political, religious and cultural practices. Respect towards religious beliefs and practices are often put in question. Social progress should thus make sure it takes place in a context that promotes respect, understanding and ensures the coexistence of religious beliefs and practices.

The coexistence of nations, ideologies, cultures and religions is a core element of a European Union promoting and respecting diversity, tolerance and multiculturalism. The coexistence of different religions and tolerance has constituted an important founding principle in the European integration process.

European societies have chosen to support collective efforts for a productive dialogue based on interreligious principles and common experiences aimed at the peaceful coexistence of peoples and nations.

 The action and its aims

Action 4.1/13 “Network of cooperation between member states on interreligious dialogue and religious practices” is financed by the European Union and the Ministry of Interior in the framework of the 2013 annual programme of the European fund for the integration of third country nationals. It aims to create the necessary context for the exchange of experiences and ideas on interreligious issues and religious practices. The main tool for achieving this is the development of an e-platform for dialogue that promotes intercultural and interreligious cooperation at all levels.

The action is coordinate by the Municipality of Athens (DAEM AE) in cooperation with the Scientific Society for Social Cohesion and Development (PEKSA) and the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece (DKEE). The network has a pan-European character and comprises immigrant organizations, religious organization, public entities, NGOs and individuals.

The action aims specifically at:

-promoting interreligious dialogue as a means for the peaceful coexistence of different groups and the enhancement of social cohesion in EU member states

exchanging best practices in relation to tackling issues of intolerance and promoting diversity

actively supporting an educational path that promotes the peaceful coexistence between different religions, tolerance, mutual understanding and combats intolerance

exchanging experiences through the web portal on the necessity of interreligious dialogue and networking among different stakeholders (religious leaders, public officials, immigrants, intercultural mediators)

recording EU member states’ policies on facilitating religious practices

formulating policy recommendations on interreligious dialogue and tolerance in Greece

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