April 25, 2012

The interconfessional forum “Say no to xenophobia!” started in Kyiv

 “Say no to xenophobia and religious intolerance!”. The Interconfessional Forum started in the Ukrainian capital. The religious leader from all over the world – the representatives of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism – gathers at one table to discuss why the conflicts between the believers arise. As well as to find out the attitude of authorities to displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism. The result of the discussion was the joint letter of the representatives of different confessions to the UN Secretary General: to pay attention to infringement of the rights of religious minorities in the world, including in the Middle East and in North Africa. 

Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem: 

- Religion plays the decisive role in the Middle East in case of appearing and solving of conflicts. And it is religion that helps to understand the essence of a conflict. I agree that the freedom of religion is the great achievement of society and this gift – to choose – is given by God. 

Oleksandr Feldman, the founder of the interconfessional forum: 

- We should not hide from problems, should not conceal, yes, we have peace, firm leadership of the country directed at the interreligious accord, but we also have problems, and they exist in Crimea, in Kyiv, in Kharkiv, and in Lviv. 

Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem as well had the meeting with the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and with the priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church this day.