Politicization of religion and rights of religious minorities
GENEVA, Switzerland, September 12, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A World Council of Churches (WCC) consultation in Geneva will facilitate dialogue on issues related to religious minorities and the politicization of religion, which contributes to discrimination and persecution of religious minorities around the world.
The consultation organized by the WCC’s Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) will be held at the Ecumenical Centre, in Geneva, Switzerland, from 16 to 18 September.
The event titled “Politicization of Religion and Rights of Religious Minorities” will bring 60 participants, including religious leaders, politicians, scholars and activists from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America.
The consultation will be opened by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC on Monday afternoon, 16 September. Prof. Dr Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief will be the keynote speaker at the opening session from 16.30 to 18.00.
Emerging trends in religious freedom and rights of religious minorities have been studied by the CCIA during the past two years. As a result of such discussions, at the 51st meeting of the CCIA in the People’s Republic of China in 2012, development of a public issues statement on freedom of religion and the rights of religious minorities was recommended.
The consultation will help draft the statement, which will be presented at the WCC 10th Assembly to be held from 30 October to 8 November in Busan, Republic of Korea.
“The politicization of religion and use of religion in politics has often added to polarization, social divides and conflicts in traditionally tolerant communities around the globe,” said Dr Mathews George Chunakara, director of the CCIA.
“To address such trends, the consultation aims to provide a platform of dialogue,” he added.
WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway.
World Council of Churches (WCC)