A conference of representatives of Churches and religious communities took place in Paris, at the College des Bernardins, on “The Role of Religious Leaders in Addressing Hate Crime.”
The Workshop was co-organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities of the United Arab Emirates, and was attended by a group of representatives from Europe and the Middle East.
Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, Archbishop Efstratios of Chernigov and Nizhyn, Archbishop Job of Telmessos, Bishop Irenaeus of Reggio, Bishop Maximos of Melitene, Rabbi David Rosen, the Chief Rabbi of France Haim Korsia, the Imam of Lyon Hacéne Taïsi, Pastor Christian Krieger, Pastor Fransois Clavairoly, Orthodox clergy, professors and journalists participated in the Workshop.
The conference’s joint communiqué states that “ the essence of humanity in all religions is love and acceptance. We are born blind in colour, ethnicity, gender or any inequality between people.”
But today, despite the connection and communication available, more than ever, to the communities around the world, through technology and the exposure to other cultures, hate crime is on the rise, threatening the good that a united mankind could achieve.
To address this challenge, the communiqué says, “We must collaborate. We, as representatives of Churches and religious communities, believe that countering hate crimes is of the utmost importance for the development of the communication between different nations, cultures and religions.”
Among other actions that everyone will take in their community is the unification of religious leaders, supporting that differences do not justify hate crimes.
The participants also agreed to promote dialogue through the religious life of each religion and to develop effective relationships between religious leaders at all levels.
“Today we reaffirm our commitment to do what we can to jointly influence our communities, whether religious or not, and to fight against hate crime in the communities in which we live,” the statement concludes.