Written by Zahra Baqer
Manama, May 31 (BNA): Bahrain has thrived over the years in a tolerant society that enjoys religious freedom and accepts different beliefs, styles and backgrounds.
The EU-Bahrain conference “Expanding the Tent: Freedom of Religion and Belief” (FORB) provided common ground for concerted efforts between the EU and Bahraini society, culture and lifestyle by protecting religious freedom.
The three-day meeting brought together Bahraini and European representatives of different faiths and religions who encouraged a structured dialogue to better understand their journeys with respect to FORB, how they integrate and work with diversity and how their communities can collaborate to enhance respect for FORB at the regional level. and global levels.
As part of the event’s goal to contribute to a better understanding of FORB in Bahrain and the European Union, Bahrain’s unique tradition of openness and tolerance towards religious diversity can serve as a model for how societies of different historical, religious and philosophical backgrounds can reach similar conclusions and expand the FORB Tent. The protection they guarantee is granted to individuals who cannot be violated.
“This is a major event that has developed into a larger scale and it is exciting to meet people from different backgrounds informally and talk about the important issues raised at the conference,” said Reverend Christopher Butt, Dean of St Christopher’s Cathedral.
“The kingdom is expanding and it is a great opportunity for all kinds of interactions at the levels of society to discover different patterns, people and backgrounds.”
The conference highlighted the growing number of people with out-of-protection ideas and beliefs in increasingly complex societies, where everyone is exposed to and influenced by multiple religions, spiritual and philosophical worldviews.
This comes as a result of increased access to higher education, arts and literature, international travel and social media, as well as the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is an important event that was held between the European Union and Bahrain in bringing the Muslim, Jewish and other communities together to participate in this interfaith and intercultural dialogue about freedom. I am certainly impressed with Bahraini coexistence and religious acceptance,” said Rabbi Moshe Lewin, Vice President of the Conference of European Rabbis and Chief Rabbi of France, Special Adviser. .
Today’s conference highlighted the impact of education, social media, and other modern elements affecting religious coexistence. I believe this event will enhance other events around the world to encourage religious freedom and acceptance.”
Bahrain embraced FORB by having inclusive discussions and dialogues throughout the event that certainly touched upon religious protection, as well as not professing beliefs, changing beliefs along the way, and keeping minority beliefs within a religious community.
These kinds of events are necessary to show the world Bahraini coexistence and tolerance. The King Hamad Global Center for Peaceful Coexistence has conducted many events around the world to highlight the religious image of the Kingdom.”
The event concluded its second day by highlighting how the Kingdom applies freedom of expression in a normal and coexistent manner.