Sant'Egidio in September in Berlin, a city "where walls have fallen" to bring "The audacity of Peace"

From 10 to 12 September 2023 the international meeting "The audacity of Peace. Religions and cultures in dialogue", the thirty-seventh meeting in the spirit of Assisi promoted by the Community of Sant'Egidio. At a press conference to present the event together with Heiner Koch, archbishop of Berlin, and Christian Stäblein, bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Schlesische Oberlausitz, the president of Sant'Egidio Marco Impagliazzo announced the presence of the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, alongside religious leaders, such as the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Tayyeb and the Chief Rabbi of Israel Meir Lau, and cultural personalities from all over the world. "It will not be a closed-door summit, detached from the city, located in a 'red zone'," stressed Impagliazzo, "but an event open to the city and all the people, especially the youngest. Thousands of young people from all over Europe will participate, as well as many schools from Berlin'.

Impagliazzo explained the choice of Berlin, "the city where a wall fell because of the strength of democracies, dialogue and the patience to rebuild channels of peace", is crucial and gives hope today "when so many walls are being built again and worrying polarisation is being created". The participants in the meeting "The audacity of Peace", concluded the president of Sant'Egidio, will reflect on "what can be the role of religions in the world, not just to confront the Ukrainian crisis, to ease the tone of conflicts or even to open paths of peace. For a long time, religions have been used as a tool to support wars and conflicts. Here is a new idea of religions as instruments of peace'.
The meeting, which has been financially supported by the German parliament and government, as well as by the Churches in Germany and other private donors, will feature various forums open to the public, addressing social, religious and political topics, such as artificial intelligence, the ageing of the European population, living conditions in prisons, the Millennium Goals, migration, the environment, education, the crises of democracies, interreligious dialogue and globalisation.