International Meetings
Peoples and Religions


 

The Civilization of Peace
Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue
Cyprus 16-18 November 2008

The inter-religious International Meetings started in the mid-80’s, as an initiative of the Community of Sant’Egidio, with the aim of promoting mutual understanding and dialogue among religions, in a horizon of peace.

The Community of Sant’Egidio has continued living the spirit of the Assisi World Day of Prayer, proposed by John Paul II in 1986, by accepting the Pope’s final invitation of that historical meeting: “Let’s keep spreading the message of Peace and living the spirit of Assisi”. Since that moment, through a network of friendship between representatives of different faiths and cultures from more than 60 countries, the Community has promoted a pilgrimage of peace, that has had several stages in various European and Mediterranean cities year after year.

The two first meetings in Rome in 1987 and 1988, were followed by Warsaw in September 1989 (“War never again”) - on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of WWII -, Bari in 1990, Malta in 1991, Brussels in 1992 (“Europe, Religions, Peace”, about the unity of Europe and its relation with the South of the world). In 1993 the pilgrimage stopped in Milan and in the following years, in Assisi and Florence.

The 1995 meeting was a special one: it took place in Jerusalem, in the heart of the Holy City. The title was “Together in Jerusalem: Jews, Christians and Muslims”. After the Rome and Padua-Venice meetings, came the extraordinary meeting in Bucharest in 1988, “Peace is the name of God: God, Mankind, Peoples”. For the first time, the meeting was organized by the Community and the Orthodox Church of Romania. 
The presence of several Orthodox patriarchs and cardinals, and mainly the new atmosphere of dialogue opened the way for the first visit of the Pope to an Orthodox country, which took place some months later.
John Paul II, in the message he sent last year to the XIV Meeting for Peace, Community of Sant’Egidio in Lisbon, said: “I would like to thank especially the Community of Sant’Egidio for the enthusiasm and the spiritual courage shown in accepting the message of Assisi and bringing it to so many places in the world through the meeting of men of different religions.”

This year, the first year of the new century, the International Meeting for Peace takes place on the banks of the Mediterranean. Barcelona, deeply rooted in the history of co-existence among the great Abrahamic religions, but at the same time pointing to the new century, with its capacity of renewal, is for three days the capital of peace and the symbol of the new European reality.

Pope John Paul II writes in “Novo Millenio ineunte”: “... we face the challenge of inter-religious dialogue, to which we will be committed in the new century (...) Dialogue must go on”. To reaffirm in different languages and religious traditions the pacific power of dialogue, from 2nd to 4th of September in Barcelona, on the fifteenth anniversary of the first Meeting in Assisi, pilgrims of peace are going to live together “On the Frontiers of Dialogue: Religions and Civilization in the New Century”.

In 2007 in Naples pope Benedict XVI confirmed: "While respecting the differences of the various religions, we are all called to work for peace and to be effectively committed to furthering reconciliation among peoples. This is the true "spirit of Assisi" which opposes every form of violence and the abuse of religion as a pretext for violence (...) The Catholic Church intends to continue on the path of dialogue in order to encourage understanding between the different cultures, traditions and forms of religious wisdom."

Cyprus 2008

The Civilization of Peace:
Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue

Naples 2007

A World without Violence: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue

Assisi 2006

For a World of Peace: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue

Washington 2006

Religions and Cultures: the courage of Dialogue

Lyon 2005

Religions and Cultures: the courage to forge a spiritual humanism of Peace

Milan 2004

Religions and Cultures: the courage to forge
a new spiritual humanism

Aachen 2003

War and Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue

Palermo 2002

Faiths and Cultures
within Conflict and Dialogue

Barcelona 2001

On the Frontiers of Dialogue:
Religions and Civilizations
in the New Century

Lisbon 2000

Oceans of Peace
Religions and Cultures in Dialogue

Genoa 1999

Churches as Sisters, 
Peoples as Brothers
Christians Gather on the Threshold of the Third Millennium

Bucharest 1998

Peace is the name of God.
God. Humankind. Peoples

Padua - Venice 1997

Conflict or Encounter
Religions and Cultures at a Crossroad

Rome 1996

Peace is the name of God

Florence 1995

Heavens and Earths of Peace

Assisi 1994

Friends of God,
Witness of Peace

Milan 1993

Earth of People,
Invocations to God

Brussels 1992

Europe,
Religions and Peace

Malta 1991

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Religions for a Sea of Peace

Bari 1990

From East to West
a Sea of Peace

Warsaw 1989

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War never again!

Rome 1988

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People of Prayer
in Search of Peace

Rome 1987

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Prayer as
a Source of Peace

Assisi 1986

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