#ViaPacis: the multireligious half-marathon

Included into the commemorative events for the hundredth anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.  Methodists, Lutherans and other Christians, Muslims, Jewish, Buddhists, Hindus and Baha’i religious exponents, attended the initiative

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Foto Staccioli/FIDAL

Rome (NEV), September 28, 2018 – The Rome Half-Marathon Via Pacis took place on Sunday, September 23, with the participation of 7,500 athletes. Created to promote peace, integration, inclusion and solidarity, this year’s edition saw the patronage, among others, of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which included it among the commemorative events for the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the South African leader, Nobel Peace Prize. Mandela had a strong link with the Methodist churches. The finalists’ medal is dedicated to his memory. At the start of the race were present, along with numerous authorities and the mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi,  Nelson’s nephew, Ndileka Mandela and religious representatives of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Baha’is. Among them, Tim Macquiban, pastor of the Methodist Church of Ponte S. Angelo, Gertrud Wiedmer, Kirchmayer Ursula and Lauckner Alberti Maria of the German Lutheran Evangelical Community.
“This half-marathon is a wonderful initiative: it has seen a river of people passing in front of the places of worship of different religions, including the synagogue, the mosque, St. Peter’s Basilica and our temple” declared Marco Fornerone, pastor of the Waldensian church of Piazza Cavour. Fornerone, who was established in this Waldensian church just a week before the sporting event, added “in the future it would be nice to be more directly involved”.
The Rome Half Marathon Via Pacis, in its second edition, is promoted by Roma Capitale and by the Pontifical Council for Culture, a department of the Holy See. Organized by the Italian Federation of Athletics (FIDAL), sees the collaboration of numerous partners.