THE GLOBAL WEEK FOR HARMONIC INTERRELIGIOUS RELATIONS
The aim of the Global Week for Harmonious Interreligious Relations, which is celebrated every first week of February, according to the UN Resolution, is to recognize “the imperative need for dialogue between different religions and religions and to mediate mutual understanding and cooperation between people.”
This objective was set as a priority by the Committee of Ministers in its Response (Doc. 9215) to Recommendation 1396 (1999) of the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe, adopted at the 765th Deputy Ministers’ Meeting on 19 September. 2001, obliging governments in cases where religious pluralism creates divisions and tensions, the authorities to respond not by restricting religious pluralism, but to ensure mutual respect between the various groups.
Today we face a variety of global changes and challenges for which we must find original and creative solutions – part of our global responsibility.
I would like to share with you a quote from the famous representative of the Silver Age of Russian religious philosophy Nikolai Berdyaev, whom a year ago in a conference against xenophobia and other forms of intolerance, His Eminence Metropolitan of Korcan Ioan Pelushi of the Albanian Orthodox Church reminded: “There have always been two races of people in the world; they still exist today, and this division is the most important of all. There are those who are crucified and those who are crucified; those who oppress and those who are oppressed; those who hate and those who are hated; the suffering and the suffering; persecuted and persecuted. There is no need to explain whose side Christians should take. “
On February 4. In 2011 the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted an important document-definition “On the issues of internal life and external activity of the Russian Orthodox Church”, in which the last three paragraphs 48-50 explain the main tasks of the activity in the field of:
1 / the inter-Christian relations for joint protection of the values of Christian morality and traditional family values, counteraction to the discrimination of Christians and the destruction of the Christian European tradition and common response to the processes of liberal secularization and globalization;
2 / the inter-religious dialogue to find an answer to the common challenges of all believers, ensuring peaceful life and cooperation of people of different religions, nationalities and cultures, joint opposition to extremism, terrorism and attempts to push the religious worldview away from the public life.
Emphasis is on the practical mysticism in which values are applied in action. St. Apostle tells us approximately the same. James in his Epistle, ch. 2:
17. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18. But one shall say, Thou hast faith, and I have works; show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
19. Thou believest that God is one: thou doest well; and the devils believe, and tremble.
20. But do you want to know, vain man, that faith without works is dead?
26. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.
We have two alternatives in terms of non-Orthodox and non-Orthodox religious communities in the country and religion in general. The first is the path of religious monopoly. A model that we know from the religious past, which is a pure form of spiritual totalitarianism on a religious basis, the path of Balkanization, which distorts the modern socio-cultural orientation of the Orthodox believers. The second alternative is the way forward, the path of pluralism and Europeanization, which leads to the cultivation of equality and tolerance in society, legislation and in people’s souls. The realities of pluralism help each person in the global village to critically deepen their knowledge of their own religion in the light of many different cultural and historical perspectives and to accept them tolerantly.
Many great people of different faiths focus on experience and action. In the 2nd century, Justin the Philosopher said: “Our religion teaches us to love not only our own, but also others, even our enemies.” And Tertullian affirms: “If all people love their loved ones, then Christians differ from them in that they love those who hate them.” St. Basil the Great (330-379) believes that “all who truly serve God are obliged to have the goal of restoring the unity of the churches, which at different times and in different ways have separated from each other. Because unity is a gift from God and requires a deep sense of humility without proud stubbornness. With this call for a “non-stop search” for the unity of the church, which is a “non-stop journey”, Patriarch Bartholomew opened on October 7-14. 2010 Faith and Order Commission Meeting in Columbari, Crete – Greece: “It is vital to learn from the early Fathers and Mothers of the Church and from those who, in every generation, have upheld the integrity and intensity of the Apostolic Faith.” .
His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I addressed the participants in the forum “Fundamentalism and Faith in the New Millennium: A View from the Crossroads between East and West” (October 25, 1995) with the following words: “The Church of Peace serves the Prince of Peace and will do his best to share it with the blessed human community. ” Because, according to Patriarch Bartholomew, in the words of the American martyr Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” For the teachings of the Orthodox Church, a fundamental belief is that Christianity must play an active role in the effort to reconcile all people. This understanding is based on Christ’s teaching, the methodology of reconciliation, by including in dialogue between the parties with the double obligation to love God and love their neighbor, which reflects the divine attributes of Love, which fills the essence and being of God perfectly, infinitely, indescribably and inexhaustibly. (cf. 1 John 4: 8> “He who does not love has not known God, for God is love”).