European Inter-Religious Encounter

Shared Values for a Changing Europe European Inter-Religious Encounter 2008; May 22 – 25 Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti of Rovereto, Italy and Religions for Peace in Europe joined forces to create a meeting space, an Encounter, where some of the most pressing challenges to the religious traditions represented in Europe were addressed. During those days, some 250 participants – politicians, senior religious leaders and grass root activists – met and acknowledged the shared values and responsibilities that we need in today’s changing Europe and for a sense of identity in our common home. The focus of the Encounter was to facilitate how different faiths and civil structures can co-operate in building that European society we all need and want to feel at home in. The issues community cohesion, economic disparity, immigration and movement of population within Europe require each of us to look at our own responsibility. The Encounter challenged the different representatives to offer their own perspective of their responsibility and contribution.

Our Co-operation partner The Campana Foundation, It.: Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti of the City of Peace, Rovereto, is founded on the symbolism carried by the World’s biggest ringing bell (campana, It. = bell) a symbol of peace and commemoration of all victims of war. The bell is made from melted cannons donated by the nations involved in the First World War, and placed in the hillside of the Italian Town of Peace, Rovereto. The Campana Foundation cooperated with a number of institutions in the town of Rovereto to secure the best possible environment for the Encounter.

Our Theme: Shared Values for a Changing Europe The Rovereto Encounter kept focus on:

  • The responsibility of each of the different elements that make up a nation to the European society as a whole
  • To further help build harmonious societies that are established on a common European identity
  • Inter-cultural cooperation
  • Recognising the contributions the immigrant communities wish to make
  • Hear how communities and civil institutions: – will contribute to the changing European society.
  • Applying a self-critical view that we do not always practice what we preach and that our image and influence in many secular contexts are sometimes weak and ambiguous.

The concrete “proof” of a success, will be the establishment of Inter Religious Councils in yet more European countries. We sincerely hope that the name of the City of Peace, Rovereto, will echo in our minds both as a pleasant memory, but also as a name that stirs our conscience and inspires us to continue our common actions based on our shared values.