On April 20, RSC Chairman Emiliano Stornelli took part in the interreligious seminar “Together for Freedom: the Abrahamic Faiths in Dialogue on the Anthropological and Theological Dimension”, promoted in Rome by the Collins Center for Abrahamic Heritage of the Acton Institute. The event was hosted by the Interreligious Dialogue Centre of the Pontifical Gregorian University, and featured as partners the Religion & Security Council and a network of organizations representing the three Abrahamic faiths.
In his remarks, RSC Chairman addressed the issue of religious freedom, highlighting the need to achieve a greater respect for freedom of conscience in countries where freedom of worship is ensured, but changing religious affiliation is still considered a crime (apostasy) under the law, with dire consequences on a social level, especially for women and the youth. On the other hand, RSC Chairman pointed out the different case of European and Western countries, where freedom of conscience is fully acknowledged and respected.
RSC Chairman also indicated what are the foundations to build upon a virtuous governance of interreligious relations: reciprocity; no hegemonic ambitions, neither by the majority nor the minority groups; no proselytism; interreligious dialogue to broaden the space of cooperation for the common good between different denominations, countering sectarianism and discrimination.
According to RSC Chairman, Pope Francis’ “Human Fraternity” diplomacy in the Middle East is showing the way forward, but this effort needs to be complemented by greater efforts on the ground in the promotion of concrete initiatives aimed at advancing interreligious dialogue, with the engagement of all relevant stakeholders (religious leaders, faith-based actors, decision and policy-makers, civil society and youth organizations, the media).