New Ways to Ensure Peaceful Coexistence between Religions

RSC Chairman Emiliano Stornelli coordinated the proceedings of the Study Seminar “Young Generations in Asia: Christians and Muslims in Dialogue”, organized by CIAM International Center for Mission and Formation, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, on December 11-15, 2017.

The meeting took place at CIAM headquarters in Vatican City and brought together an interreligious research group consisting of prominent scholars, experts, professionals, and leaders of the civil society from major Asian countries:

– Dr. Fr. James Channan, Executive Director of the Peace Center Lahore and Coordinator of URI United Religions Initiative-Pakistan.

– Dr. Kazi Nurul Islam, Professor of Philosophy and Founding Chair of the Department of World Religions and Cultures, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

– Dr. Fr. Victor Edwin, Lecturer of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Director of VIDIS Vidyajyoti Institute of Islamic Studies, and Secretary of ISA Islamic Studies Association, New Delhi, India.

– Dr. Bek-Ali Yerzhan, RSC Research Fellow and Associate Professor of History, Sociology and Political Science, Department of Mass Communications and History, IITU International Information Technology University, Almaty, Kazakhstan.

– Dr. Wan Norhaziki, Former Nostra Aetate Fellow, Pontifical Gregorian University, and Vice President and Head of Shariah at the Asian Finance Bank, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

– Dr. Fr. Heru Prakosa, Professor of Islamic Philosophy, Wedabhakti Pontifical Faculty of Theology, Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

The proceedings were also joined by RSC Senior Advisor Dr. Francesco Zannini, Professor of Islamic Studies at PISAI Pontifical Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies.

During the insightful presentations and discussion sessions, the members of the research group examined the current situation and the prospects of young Christians and Muslims in Asia, with a particular focus on the following subjects: human rights and justice; education, opportunities and access to labor market; living standards and healthcare; women empowerment; media communication and social networks; participation in community and political life; religious freedom; interreligious and interethnic relations.

The Study Seminar was part of a broader CIAM project on the future of the new generations in Asia, which aims to devise policy proposals on how to address the causes of tensions and conflicts through dialogue and cooperation, in order to advance reconciliation, peace-building, and socio-economic development at local and regional level.

CIAM is headed by Dr. Fr. Fabrizio Meroni, who is also Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union and Director of Fides press agency.