CBCK News


Seoul Statement on ASEM Interfaith Dialogue

2009.10.09 12:26


The 5th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Interfaith Dialogue, co-hosted by Korea and Finland, was held in Seoul, Korea on September 23-25, 2009.


Some 180 participants including the representatives of 36 ASEM member states, religious leaders from the Holy See and Islam, and government officials discussed regional and interfaith conflicts, current global challenges, and cultural diversity, with the theme of "Bridging Divides through Interfaith Dialogue."


In the final plenary session, the participants adopted a "Seoul Statement on ASEM Interfaith Dialogue." In this Statement, they underlined the importance of the interreligious dialogue, recognizing that in the era of globalization "the lack of intercultural and interreligious tolerance, understanding and respect can often lead to tensions and conflicts between different cultures and faiths."


ASEM is an informal dialogue process for 27 European Union member states and 16 Asian countries along with the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat. The first ASEM Interfaith Dialogue was held in 2005 after the Bali bombing incident in 2002, and subsequent gatherings have been co-hosted by one Asian and one European country.


On behalf of the Catholic Church, the Most Rev. Osvaldo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio in Korea, and the Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, President of the Committee for Promoting Christian Unity & Interreligious Dialogue of the CBCK, participated in this event.


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