2001 International Consultative Conference on School Education in Relation to Freedom of Religion or Belief, Tolerance and Non-Discrimination
(HjB) In November 2001, about
800 delegates from states, international organisations and NGOs gathered
in Madrid for an International Consultative Conference on School Education
in Relation to Freedom of Religion or Belief, Tolerance and Non-Discrimination.
The consultation coincided with the 20th anniversary of the UN-Declaration
on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based
on Religion and Belief and was to push for a renewed commitment to the
aims of this declaration.
Mark Wolff: Education in relation to Freedom of Religion or Belief, Tolerance and Non-Discrimination
Christo Lombard: School Education, Tolerance and Freedom of Religion and Belief in Namibia
The right to freedom of religion and religious education at school was
once more emphasised both by many contributions to the plenary session
and by the final declaration. This will be a very important reference point
for religious minorities in many countries.
2. The contributions to the conference exhibited a great variety of the religious, political and pedagogical frameworks in which religious education might take place. This provided another starting point for international discourse.
3. NGOs working in the field of inter-religious dialogue were able to present their views. The challenge to religious communities and the potential of religions to contribute to the prevention and resolution of conflicts as well as the necessary reconciliation process was expressed by a number of contributions and acknowledged by the political sphere.
4. The different concepts of religious education, inter-religious
education and comparative religions present in Europe were broadly discussed among the delegates. While religious education and / or ethics are very common in Europe, there is no world wide consensus on the need for such a subject at school. This was particularly emphasised by the delegations of China and Cuba as well as representatives of several secular / humanist organisations.
5. The Madrid Conference was another milestone in inter-cultural and inter-religious communication on religious freedom and religious education meeting the global challenge of joint responsibility for the future of a global community.
|picture taken by Professor
Dr Johannes Laehnemann:
meeting of PESC and WCRP members at the Madrid conference
Dr Hansjoerg Biener
Zarrin T. Caldwell (IARF)
Dr Hans Spinder (WCC)
Prof Dr John Hull
Dr Norman Richardson (IARF)
Prof Dr Mualla Selcuk
Prof Dr Chung ok lee
back of Dr John Taylor
|repared for the web
by Dr Hansjoerg Biener