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PESC-2: Education towards violence free communication and conflict solution 
Jehangir Sarosh: Pan European Multireligious
Leaders Council Inaugurated

 
On 12 March 2002, Senior European religious leaders announced the launching of the first pan European religious leaders council, the WCRP/Europe Religious Leaders Council. The Council will consist of thirty members representing Western and Eastern European States, including the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States and Turkey. 
 
The Council will be served by three co-Moderators: Bishop Gunnar Stälsett, Lutheran Bishop of Oslo and a member of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Grand Rabbi René-Samuel Sirat, Vice President of the Council of European Rabbis, and H.E. Dr. Mustafa Ceric, the Reisu-l-uleme, or senior Muslim religious leader, of Bosnia-Hercegovina. Additional members of the Executive Committee of the Council are H.E. Godfried Cardinal Daneels, Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, H.E. Metropolitan Kirill, Metropolitan of Smolensk, and Mr. Jehangir Sarosh, the Moderator of the WCRP/Europe Governing Board. 
Summarizing the discussions of the Executive Committee, Rabbi Sirat noted major changes in Europe including: increasing cultural and religious pluralism; the rapid movement of information, commerce and labor across national boarders; the transformation of the social and political legacies of the wars of the last century; and the new and still fluid forms of political, military, and economic alliances. H.E. Cardinal Daneels noted that Europe is challenged to exercise a major role in the world in establishing international security, as well as economic and political orders that are consistent with its religious and civilizational values. H.E. Metropolitan Kirill noted the growing gap between the deep legacy of religiously inspired values that once offered a basis for moral consensus in Europe and the increasing dominance of other values more related to technical modes of thought and driven by economic efficiency. 
 
H.E. Bishop Stälsett, speaking for the Executive Committee, stated that these new realities present Pan-European challenges that extend beyond the boarders of any single European State, and, thus, require Pan-European multireligious responses. Bishop Stälsett noted that the WCRP/European Religious Leaders Council would engage relevant European social and political bodies regarding major social challenges confronting Europe and would help to establish multireligious action projects when appropriate. Bishop Stälsett announced that the Council would meet in Oslo, Norway, 11-12 November 2002. 
 
Dr. Ceric, citing the positive value of the Interreligious Council of Bosnia-Hercegovina in the aftermath of the war there, noted that the WCRP/European Religious Leaders Council would complement and assist the national chapters of WCRP. The new Council should provide support for helpful forms of collaboration among the religious communities of different states in Europe. Mr. Sarosh noted the new Council and the existing WCRP national chapters would provide complementary and reinforcing approaches to multireligious cooperation. 
 
The WCRP/European Religious Leaders Council is part of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP), a worldwide multireligious coalition of believers that is organized on an international, regional, and national basis, on every continent. WCRP national chapters already exist in many States in Europe. WCRP is based upon the principle of acknowledging and respecting differences in religious belief and worship, and it is solely dedicated to multireligious cooperation for peace based on those moral concerns that are deeply held and widely shared among the world’s religious communities. 

Jehangir Sarosh, Moderator, WCRP/Europe Governing Board
Back to Report 2001/2002 "A Soul  for Education"