Position of the Council concerning the
PARLIAMENT of RELIGIONS -
The Belgian Council of Religious Leaders was
officially launched in the Belgian Parliament on 17 December
2009 , in the presence of her Majesty Princess Mathilde.
1. Basis work : partnership
The different religions and spiritual movements in Belgium bear
the task of promoting social cohesion and a shared vision of
peace. Whilst they are aware of their different approaches,
they endeavour to respect each other’s beliefs and traditions
and may on occasion consider joint action. The undersigned members,
who hold positions of responsibility within their traditions,
encourage dialogue towards a common commitment.
The Interfaith Council of Belgium is independent,
apolitical and works on the basis of consensual dialogue.
The Interfaith Council of Belgium sees itself
as a structure of esteem and confidence between representatives
of different religions and spiritualities. The primary objective
of this Council is to offer its contribution to a harmonious
society by bearing witness to the human and spiritual values
that inspire its members. It aims to address issues of ethical,
moral and societal interest, where appropriate inciting its
members to action.
Archbishop Leonard - Catholic Church
Guy Liagre - Protestant and evangelical Church
Francis Renneboog - Protestant and evangelical Church
Metropolite Panteleimon - Orthodox Church
Robert Innes – Anglican Church
Abdulaziz M. Al-Yahya – Islam Community
Semsettin Ugurlu- Islam Community
Ahmed Hany Mahfoud -Islam Community
Albert Guigui – Jewish Community
Lama Karta - Buddist Community
Phra Suddhinanavides - Buddist Community
Frank De Waele – Buddist Community
Herman Janssens – Hindu Community
Ramesh Mehta - Jaïn Community
2. The Council is committed to active
tolerance and officially took position on this on September
11, 2010 with a declaration:: “Based on this
understanding of tolerance we as religious leaders commit ourselves
to work individually and together to translate an attitude of
tolerance into transformative acts of toleration. In our teaching,
preaching and leadership we will emphasise that in our religions
which inspire mutual respect and acceptance. We speak clearly
and publicly against, and when required we confront, that which
fosters intolerance and discrimination. We will do all we can
to counter any form of hate speech or other hate crimes, whether
it is in the form of anti-semitism, islamophobia, attacks on
Christians or any other religion”.
3. Position of the Council concerning
the project “Parliament of Religions –Brussels-
The BCRL has learned of a private initiative to hold the Parliament
of Religions in Brussels in 2014.
This project was greeted with initial enthusiasm.
However issues raised by the Council as to what is the background
for this initiative have not received any accurate response
despite a number of steps being taken.
Moreover, the Council deplores the lack of clarity
surrounding the participation of some of the people in the original
organizing committee, and at the finance and procedural levels
which seem to be in contradiction with the stated aims. For
these reasons, the Belgian Council of Religious Leaders has
decided not to take part as a body in the committee organising