The ECRL Executive Committee convened in Paris on the 12th of November, hosted by ECRL Vice President H.E.Metropolitan Emmanuel of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of France.
The Executive Committee had a successful meeting, discussing current and future activities and in particular ECRL’s role in preparations towards the World Assembly of Religions for Peace in Lindau, Germany, in August 2019.
The committee was pleased to receive confirmation of completion of the registration of ECRL in Belgium and also discussed convening of all members in Brussels in June 2019.
The ECRL Executive were pleased to receive the Chief of the Central Bureau of Religions, Ministry of Public Freedoms and Judicial Affairs in France- Arnaud Schaumasse. Mr Shaumasse was interested to learn about ECRL and also was keen to dispel the idea that France is institutionally anti-religious in any way. He expressed that is understanding of laïcité was to provide the best conditions for all religions to be treated equally and thrive. He revealed that although the state does not fund religions directly, they do fund programmes run be religious organisations for the good of all, including a programme providing religious chaplains from all religions to prisons and hospitals. Mr Shaumasse concluded that he has great respect for the contributions religious leaders make in a range of different areas, and his department is keen to encourage cohesion between all people.
The Executive committee was attended by ECRL President Revd. Dr. Thomas Wipf, H.E. Metropolitan Emmanuel, Grand Mufti Prof. dr. Nedžad Grabus, Chief Rabbi Dayan, Mr Jamie Cresswell, Mr Etienne De Jonghe (Proxy for Bishop Kenney), Secretary General Dr Mark Owen and Secretariat Manager Rebecca Bellamy