PEACE Building Interfaith Encounter – Castel Gandolfo 28- 31 Oct. 2015

  • RfP Europe
  • Wednesday, October 28, 2015
  • Castel Gandolfo

   Religions for Peace Europe invite you

Castel Gandolfo 28 Oct. – 1Nov. 2015

RfP EU European Assembly


Samia SMAHI Au delà des frontières Welcoming Each Other
  • Globalisation: loss of identity fear – individual, cultural, religious/philosophical identity – leading to violence, radicalism and terrorism
  • Trend towards a “single” dominant ethos, leading to individualism and narcissism
  • Rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and a degree of anti-Christian sentiment.  Rise of fear of foreigners.
  • Rising migration waves – refugees from situations of war, political regimes, economic hardship and climate conditions (some of which are talked about, others passed over in silence)
  • An ageing Europe, tending to hold on to the tradition of the status quo rather than reaching out with an open mind to other world regions

New opportunities

  • Younger generation is more open to multi-culturalism and to the potential of diversity, to think in universal terms and not stumble at individual obstacles
  • New communication tools facilitating freedom of expression,
  • A vision of a future opening up to new choices for better quality of life for all
  • new synergies for defending the weakest in society and which build up a feeling of belonging
  • First signs of a degree of worldwide solidarity on the path towards real brotherhood and sisterhood of peoples
  • A sense of responsibility among men and women as members of a human family where each person is unique and each can become a peace-builder

The big challenges

  • How to deal with this pluralist society and harvest all the riches that diversity offers?
  • How to fulfil the whole of human potential – body, soul and spirit – and make people “responsible subjects” and not merely consumers.  Who is watching to see that science and technology is being developed for the service of humanity?  (Rabelais: science without conscience spells the soul’s ruin.)
  • How to focus on crucial questions, such as the meaning of life? Our life spent on this earth?
  • For believers – how can religion be defined today?  Full realisation of our relationship with God and in consequence, our relationship to ourselves, others and nature
  • How can we move from an ethnocentric vision to one which is altruistic?  From the paradigm of consumerism to that of fraternity? And in what perspective of time and place?
  • How can we stay “humane” and sensitive to the cries of the weakest?
  • How can we move from rigid and extreme security to open-minded and flexible generosity?

The objectives will be achieved by:

  • A five days Erasmus + Training Program  based on non discrimination, for 50 young from allEurope
  • Sharing best practices that encourage the building of welcoming societies inEurope
  • Offering an important space for the empowering of young people and women
  • Highlighting the role of tradition, transmission and transformation as a process for the contribution religion can make to peace
  • Identifying new challenges and reinforcing the contributions of RfP Europe in close collaboration with civil society, NGOs and EU institutions
  • Strengthening relations between RfP members and inspiring local coordination and collaboration


  • An action plan for the next 5 years with the involvement of women, youth and religious leaders with a special focus on overcoming discrimination, and European citizenship.
  • A compilation in a publication of examples of best practice  encouraging the building of welcoming societies inEurope
  • Presentation of the Religions for Peace EU network: diagram with a charter and resources database
  • A video highlighting the main elements learned during the sessions
  • A set of recommendations for increased active and equal citizenship among youth and women, by providing them with a platform for their voices, ideas and visions

The spirit of the encounter – a “Peace-Building Training Process”

  • To offer a platform, a space for exchange; a laboratory to investigate together, with people from very different horizons – youth, women, religious leaders, religious communities, academics, ready to welcome the other’s vision of life, of society, sharing all a common desire of detachment to welcome the other
  • Towards new behaviour patterns which will catalyse joint action to the benefit of all
  • A move towards pooling  respective richness to the benefit of all humanity
  • To share experience and best practice fosteingr the process of peace

Added Value :

  • Collaboration with the Focolari in the Mariapolis Centre, sharing their spirituality in unity, their long experience in nurturing dialogue and the “art of loving”
  • Participation of religious leaders, political decision-makers and civil society through national delegations (Chapters, Inter-religious Councils).  An important place is given to Women and Young People.
  • The pluralist dimension of those participating – multi-cultural and multi-religious in their presence, spreading over the generations, experts, political and religious authorities, civil society members (especially women and young people); coming from Albania, Austria,  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Danube countries, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Germany, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldavia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia.
  • Self-interest, be it individual or of a group, gives way to a higher interest in order to bring forth the elements that are vital in building a harmonious peaceful society
  • An encounter which is not a succession of happenings but a communion of communities and individuals seeking together ways to serve the common good and ready to take a stand in commitment for a campaign in future action together as a result of this encounter
  • This is not just another conference or seminar or congress or assembly – but a fertile terrain for growth together and thereafter diffusing the new shoots of life in peace in all countries and religious communities belonged to
  • Forming a lobby – yes, a real lobby for the interests and in the service of ALL!


  • 350 people expected ; religious leaders, delegations from more than 20 countries, academics, representatives of the  European Institutions, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and other European organisations, partner organisations

Who are we?

  • Religions for Peace Europe (RfP EU) is an organisation bringing together individuals and communities from the major world religions.  Religions for Peace has been operating inEuropesince 1986 and gathers various member bodies such as the ECRL (religious leaders), the EWFN (women of faith), the EIYN (inter-faith youth), and the chapters and interreligious councils (European cooperation between inter-religious groups of Chapters, inter-religious Councils and other associations).
  • More information can be found on the website
  • Human and financial resources: RfP Europe works on an entirely voluntary basis, supported by large number of generous volunteers and partners who share the common goal ofPeaceBuilding.
  • Sponsorship: please contact Yolande Iliano on + 32 2 374 77 33 and Christine Dupuis on + 32 474 60 50 93, or  Bank Account no. WCRP-Belgium BE17-979-6362952-21 reference “Assembly”; BIC: ARSPBE22 ARGENTA Bank. en Verzekeringsgroep SA, Belgiëlei 49-54, B-2018 Antwerpen.

Religions for Peace Europe,  Engelandstr, 332, 1180 Brussels – Belgium, Tel.  00 32 2 374 77
Bank Account number: WCRP-Belgium BE17 -979-6362925-21 with reference “Assembly”
BIC: ARSPBE22 ARGENTA Bank en Verzekeringsgroep SA Belgiëlei, 49-54, 2018 Antwerpen

Written by RfP Europe

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