State-religions dialogue. Gajewski: a permanent working group needed

Pawel Gajewski. Foto Riforma - P.Romeo

Rome (NEV),  February  7, 2020 – “The dialogue between the State and the various religious denominations should be divided in two directions. On the one hand, the institutions should create a permanent consultation desk, even with those who do not yet have an agreement with the State. On the other hand, municipalities, constituencies and neighborhoods should ensure free places for inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, and the support of training programs in schools of every level and kind” . This is the opinion of the Waldensian pastor Pawel Gajewski, who represented the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) on the occasion of the conference “Role and prospects of inter-religious dialogue in a changing Italy”, which took place in Rome on February 4, during the 10th Week for harmony between faiths.
Pastor Gajewski illustrated the activities of FCEI and its purposes, among which there are those of supervising the respect of the fundamental rights of freedom and equality, and the protection of the principle of State secularity, in a framework of enhancement of pluralism as a democratic resource. FCEI also offers its services and assistance, not only to federated and non-federated evangelical churches, but also to other religious bodies, on the basis of specific conventions, as indicated in art. 2 of its Statute.
“Dialogue between the State and the religious denominations should not be a government program, but a permanent good practice, as for example it happens for the Council of religions of Rome, which carries on its work practically without any support. The Ministry of Interior could do a lot on this respect, also at a territorial level, with the involvement of prefectures or other institutional bodies”.
The conference – promoted by the Inter-religious Desk of Rome in collaboration with the Maitreya Foundation (an institute of Buddhist culture) and the Municipality of Rome I Center – saw the participation of representatives of the various religious communities. We recall, among others, Maria Angela Falà, president of the Inter-religious Desk of Rome, Jayendranatha Franco Di Maria, president of the Italian Hindu Union – Sanatana Dharma Samgha, Noemi Di Segni, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI), Elena Seishin Viviani, vice president of the Italian Buddhist Union (UBI), Barbara Ghiringhelli, of the National Office for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Dialogue of the Italian Episcopal Conference (UNEDI), Gabriel Ioniță, of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese in Italy, Abdellah Redouane, Secretary General of the Islamic Cultural Center of Italy, Saverio Scuccimarri, pastor of the Adventist Christian Church of the 7th day, Marta Bonomo, worship minister  of the Italian Buddhist Institute Soka Gakkai.
Among the themes of the three sessions of the conference, inter-religious dialogue, good practices and critical issues in the relationship with institutions, agreements with the State, places of worship, the state of religious freedom in Italy, religious pluralism in information and prejudices.