CONTRIBUTION OF THE RELIGIONS TO THE EUROPEAN PEACE PROJECT

European Congress Concludes With a Dialogue

Final panel discussion: (from left to right) Bishop Dr. Martin Hein, Rabbi Dr. Walter Rothschild, Annette Schavan, Prof. Dr. Claudia Nothelle, Dr. Wolfram Eilenberger, Aimann A. Mayzek (Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany). Photo: Karl-Martin Flüter
Final panel discussion: (from left to right) Bishop Dr. Martin Hein, Rabbi Dr. Walter Rothschild, Annette Schavan, Prof. Dr. Claudia Nothelle, Dr. Wolfram Eilenberger, Aimann A. Mayzek (Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany). Photo: Karl-Martin Flüter

23.11.2018

Without religion, Europe is unthinkable and the religions with their diverse traditions will be needed in the future to keep alive the "European Peace Project". This was the result of the three-day European Congress in Paderborn, which was held in November with a dialogue of representatives of religion, Politics and science. The last day was marked by a committed, sometimes controversial dialogue between well-known representatives of the three monotheistic religions.

However, all participants were in favour of opening up the religions. The Bonifatiuswerk organised the European Congress together with the Catholic University of Applied Sciences of North Rhine-Westphalia. What was special about the congress was the international and interreligious nature of the participants.

Guests from 14 different countries were among the participants. The high-ranking representatives of the Catholic Church were Bishop Czeslaw Kozon from Copenhagen, Archbishop Zbigņevs Stankevičs from Riga, Bishop Teemu Sippo from Helsinki, Bishop Peter Bürcher, Bishop Emeritus from Reykjavik, the Vicar Generals Ole Martin Stamnestrø from Trondheim, Antonius Maria Sohler from Tromsø, Niels Engelbrecht from Copenhagen, Alfons Hardt from Paderborn and Annette Schavan, Ambassador to the Vatican. Furthermore, the participants included Prof. Dr. Martin Hein, Bishop of the Protestant Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck, from the Protestant side; Rabbi Dr. Walter Rothschild, former State Rabbi of Schleswig-Holstein, from the Jewish side; as well as Aiman A. Mazyek, Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, and Prof. Dr. Navid Kermani from the Muslim side.

On the last day, Elmar Brok and Navid Kermini analysed the reasons why nationalism continues to sprout throughout Europe. And so the three-day European Congress, which was often deeply theological, with a focus on the pastoral, concluded with a concrete appeal which was met with much approval among the congress participants: According to Bishop Hein, the religions should jointly call on their members and all citizens to go to the ballot box and vote for Europe.