2021 (EN)

The Fondazione Mediterraneo participated in the Interfaith Forum held in Bologna (12-14 September 2021). The event saw the participation of religious leaders from 70 countries engaged in 32 working sessions, thanks to the technical coordination of the Foundation for Religious Sciences (FSCIRE) of which Prof. Alberto Melloni is the current secretary.
"The fact that Prime Minister Mario Draghi has personally attended an event dedicated to interreligious dialogue seems to me to be a significant sign of the institutional sensitivity of our government towards dialogue and knowledge between religions," said the president of COREIS, Imam Yahya Pallavicini, on the sidelines of a meeting with Draghi in which the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartolomeo also took part.
The premier's attention was also confirmed by his speech, which, after retracing some key events of interreligious dialogue on the Catholic side, such as the Declaration Nostra Aetate and the ecumenical meeting in Assisi in 1986, also mentioned the initiatives of the Islamic world, such as the document "A Common Word Between Us and You: Love for God and for Our Neighbor," the letter signed in 2007 by 138 scholars of the Islamic world, including Imam Pallavicini, sent to all the authorities of Christianity in the world.
"Religion must be a message of love," the Italian Prime Minister concluded in this sense.
Also yesterday, September 14, a number of sessions were held that put at the same table our Italian institutions and some of the most authoritative voices of the Islamic world at the international level. The Minister of Education Patrizio Bianchi talked with Salim al Malik, the Director General of ICESCO (Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), while the Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese discussed social cohesion with the Minister of Justice and Religious Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, the Undersecretary for Religious Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, Mohammed Al-Mamari, and the President of the World Council of Islamic Communities, Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, from the United Arab Emirates.
There was a unanimous call for a clear distinction between authentic religions and their blasphemous exploitation for the purposes of personal hegemonies and armed struggles between factions.
During the three days of meetings there were also moments of meditation, especially on the first evening, September 11, when the prayers recited by the religious guides were addressed to all the victims who suffered atrocities in the places of worship of Buddhists, Jews, Christians and Muslims. Places of worship that, as has been repeatedly stated, should instead be only spaces to be defended and preserved as instruments of contemplation, comfort and Peace.