SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dialogue experts from the Vienna-based International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) will provide training for the participants of the Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City, United States, on the use of interreligious dialogue for peacebuilding.
During the five-day event, which runs from 15 to 19 October, KAICIID – an intergovernmental organization mandated to promote dialogue between people of diverse religions and backgrounds – will hold a number of trainings on peacebuilding.
KAICIID Director General, Fahad Abualnasr, said that the workshops will introduce the participants to best practices for using dialogue to strengthen social cohesion in divided communities and societies.
"One of KAICIID's guiding principles is that religious leaders have an important role to play in reducing tensions and building peace in conflict areas around the world. Our chief goal, therefore, is to give them the training and the platforms they need to spread messages of tolerance and understanding," he said.
The peacebuilding workshops, led by the KAICIID Senior Adviser, Mohammed Abu-Nimer, will bring together religious leaders working in countries in the midst of conflict to discuss the challenges of Interreligious Dialogue (IRD) in peacebuilding and the lessons from current efforts in the field.
KAICIID's experts will also lead workshops in utilizing social media as a platform to promote peace and facilitate dialogue. And Parliament participants will be able to attend the Centre's presentations on the recently launched Peace Map, an interactive database of over 400 organizations that work to promote interreligious dialogue around the world.
Director General Abualnasr said that the Parliament is one of the most important meetings of the global interfaith movement, and therefore is an ideal forum for KAICIID to offer its support and expand its network and knowledge.
"There is a tremendous amount of positive work being done by the interreligious movement around the world, and we at KAICIID are here to support and enhance that work by offering training and creating forums for the voices of religious leaders to be heard," he said.
The Director General noted that interreligious dialogue is a relatively recent addition to the field of peacebuilding. "The potential for IRD to resolve conflict is enormous. We are eager to engage peacemakers at this Parliament so that we can exchange ideas with fellow practitioners. We 'dialogue ambassadors' can achieve much more together," he said.
"In the first Parliament since KAICIID's establishment, we would like to share with the interreligious community our experiences of the last three years. We are already using interreligious dialogue for peacebuilding with many of the organisations attending this event. We look forward to the opportunity of learning from each other and of joining forces in this challenge," said Patrice Brodeur, Director of Programmes and Research at KAICIID.
The Director General will speak on 15 October at the Opening Ceremony, and the following evening, the Centre will be sponsoring the Emerging Leaders plenary.
The 2015 Parliament is expected to gather 8,500 religious leaders, grassroots activists and practitioners from 50 traditions and more than 80 countries. Previous editions took place in Melbourne, Australia (2009); Barcelona, Spain (2004); Cape Town, South Africa (1999); and Chicago, United States (1993). The 1893 World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago was the first formal gathering of representatives of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, and therefore is considered the birthplace of interreligious dialogue worldwide.
ABOUT KAICIID: The KAICIID Dialogue Centre is the intergovernmental organization that uses dialogue to build peace in conflict areas. The founding states of the Centre are Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain. The Holy See is the Founding Observer. Prominent representatives from five major world religions make up the nine-member Board of Directors. The Board designs and supervises the Centre's programs.