Friday 22. October 2021
COMECE Press 02/12/2009



on "Islam, Christianity and Europe"

Second series - 2009-2010


The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (EYID 2008) gave a major impulse to highlight the importance of the intercultural dimension in EU policies, both at the internal and external levels. In order to continue raising awareness among EU political decision-makers and civil servants of the importance of the challenges to face in these areas, the representation of the Catholic Bishops' Conferences liaising with the EU (COMECE), the Brussels Office of the Protestant Church in Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland-EKD), and, as a major political foundation, the European Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung would like to continue the dialogue that has been started in 2008 with a first series of seminars entitled "Islam, Christianity and Europe". The second series, planned for 2009-2010, will focus on the role of religious actors in building peace and democracy.


4 seminars are to be held in the course of 2009-2010:

  • Seminar n°1 -"The role of religious actors in peace-building"
  • Seminar n°2 -"The role of religious actors in strengthening civil society"
  • Seminar n°3 -"Migration, integration and the fight against xenophobia - the role of religious actors"
  • Seminar n°4 -"Promoting religious freedom in the world"

Seminar n°1 - The role of religious actors in peace-building

Wednesday 2 December 2009:


Venue: COMECE, Square de Meeûs 19 - 1050 Brussels


In recent years, the EU has become increasingly involved with several open or frozen conflict regions in its proximity. In many of these, religious actors - leading figures or grassroots communities - are playing or have played a crucial role either during the conflict or during the post-conflict period. While religious actors are sometimes at the core of a conflict, they have also a role to play in peace-building efforts. During this seminar, the focus will be on the latter. Among many questions that will be raised, some emphasis will lie on these: What can religious actors do to promote reconciliation in post-conflict situations?  What are the lessons to be learnt from experiences in the Near East, the Balkans or the Caucasus? What is or could be the impact of external religious actors like Sant'Egidio, Pax Christi or the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP)? How can the EU engage with religious actors in these conflict regions, which of its instruments could be used? Could the EU offer a platform for a sustainable dialogue und respectful cooperation between religious actors?



  • Dr Katrien Hertog, Pax Christi, Center for World Religions, Conflict Resolution & Diplomacy,George Mason University, Research Fellow
  • Sheikh Jawdat Saïd, Muslim thinker, Syria
  • Dr Markus Weingardt, Forschungsstätte der Evangelischen Studiengemeinschaft - FEST e.V.(Protestant Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, Heidelberg)

Moderation: Ms Katrin Hatzinger, Director of the EKD Brussels Office

Synthesis of the discussion by: Dr László Surján, Member of the European Parliament (EPP)


Simultaneous translation: English/French/German


Registration required:

Access to online registration:

Press contact:

Alessandro Di Maio

Press & Communications Manager E-mail contact Tel.: +32 (0) 2 235 05 15
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