Religious representatives call for peace in Hofburg

Religion is not the basis of war and conflict, but strives for peace; There was a consensus on this issue among representatives of churches and religious communities in the Hofburg. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen invited them to interfaith dialogue on Thursday as part of the “Hour of Peace”. Against the background of the conflict in the Middle East, speakers emphasized the positive cooperation between religious communities in Austria.

The Federal President said at the outset that different traditions should not be divisive, but should instead enrich and strengthen us. Peace is not a given. The current world situation shows what can happen if the basic understanding of coexistence between people no longer exists. However, this is not the case in Austria as the meeting testified to good relations between religious communities in Austria. Eidel Malowicki of Congregation Israel felt it was especially necessary to find each other in times of crisis.

Bishop Werner Freistetter emphasized that religions should never be used as justification for wars or the violent defense of economic or political interests. Ümit Vural, President of the Islamic Religious Community, said, “We would like to clearly state that religion should not be used as a tool of hatred, violence and conflict.” We defend the positive and constructive role of religion in society and strive to put what we have in common before what divides us.

In the text read at the event, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Arsenios Kardamakis emphasized that charity is the main message, while Evangelical Synod President Ingrid Monjencs emphasized the search for peace in Christianity. Even if absolute peace cannot be achieved in this world, the goal of peace on earth should always be in sight. For example, one needs to defend oneself against antisemitism and provide humanitarian aid to those seeking protection both locally and in Austria. Vural called for an immediate end to violence in the Middle East and the resumption of the peace dialogue. All peoples must be guaranteed a life in security, dignity and freedom.


Source: Vienna


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