Young Religious Leaders from across of Europe, representing the biggest European youth organizations of Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian faiths – member organizations of EIYN, met in Warsaw, 16-19 September 2011, for 3 days summit and training, pledging for multi-religious cooperation as an answer to challenges of multiculturalism, migration and critical issues troubling peace, welfare and coexistence in Europe. The Warsaw youth summit was organized by Religions for Peace, European Interfaith Youth Network (RfP, EIYN).
While several European leaders have recently declared that multiculturalism in Europe has failed, the violent attack in Oslo assaulted Europe’s immigrant culture in the extreme way, and the economic crisis strengthens the hostility toward outsiders, young leaders representing faith communities decided to work together to develop a common strategy, based on multi-religious cooperation, that could be an answer to challenges of multiculturalism/migration. They took a stand and pledged to take actions against current developments and policies leading to radicalization and violence.
Sessions led by international experts brought discussions and lectures on issues of migration, refugees and homeless people’s situation, challenges for multiculturalism. To make the young leaders the most effective to address these issues, participants took part in workshops on advocacy: lobbying politicians and policy makers, mass media advocacy techniques and social media and legal tools in interfaith advocacy and participated in mediation skills training, namely, mediation as a mode of resolving intercultural conflicts.
The Summit concluded by adopting a statement, in which we read: “The strong enthusiasm of the youth to interact and exchange common values of peace and understanding at the Warsaw Summit illustrates that religious beliefs are not and should not be a factor to divide Europe…. The EYIN strongly supports the view that inter religious dialogue will promote and preserve the notion of citizenship, friendship and coexistence in the world today.”
The training was organized owing to the grant received from Erach & Roshan Sadri Foundation from UK.