Wednesday, November 20, 2013

KAICIID Interfaith meeting in Vienna concludes

The curtain has closed on the first Global Forum of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna, Austria. 

Inaugurated in 2012 with the Holy See as a Founding Observer, the dialogue centre known by its acronym, KAICIID, this year dedicated its first-ever Global Forum to the exploration of The Image of the Other, specifically in the key of intercultural and interreligious education. 

The two days of sessions included ministerial-level policy discussions, small working groups and even smaller roundtables focusing on themes both practical and theoretical. Over 400 people took part.

One of the group sessions, focusing on the historical theme of negotiating identity in relation to the past, was chaired by the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Fr. Miguel Ayuso, who is also the Holy See’s representative on the KAICIID Board of Directors. 

“In that forum there was a fruitful sharing,” of ideas and experiences, said Fr. Ayuso in an exclusive interview with Vatican Radio. He went on to say that he had a similar impression of the Forum as a whole.

“What remains to be seen,” he said, “is whether we can translate our work here into practical results for the many people – especially I think of children and youth – who, because of a lack of understanding and respect, are not able at present to enjoy the basic human right of religious liberty in the broadest and [most] robust sense of the term.” 

Fr. Ayuso concluded, saying, “The success, according to me, of KAICIID, will be measured in the ability of the Centre to provide avenues of redress for those who suffer in this way.” The KAICIID Global Forum on the Image of the Other in intercultural and interreligious education concluded Tuesday in Vienna, Austria.

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