Religious institutions play a fundamental role in resolving conflicts and contribute to social peace by helping to create, communicate and protect societal values. They exert a significant amount of direct and indirect influence on society; when we speak about churches, we are also speaking about the hundreds of millions of believers.
We, as a political group, need to understand the thoughts and activities of various religious organisations on issues such as social tensions, migration and education. We must engage with the representatives of religious groups while mutually acknowledging each other’s independence. We are the only political group in the European Parliament with a long-standing dialogue with Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Islam and Jewish.
Freedom of religion is a basic right. We believe we must defend that right and openly discuss issues around it. We must seek opportunities for dialogue and cooperation with the religious communities involved.
Several hundred people, including MEPs, religious leaders, government representatives, NGOs, guests and the interested public participate in our annual conferences on religious dialogue. These discuss current issues pertinent to intercultural dialogue and the dialogue between religion and politics.
In addition, we continuously widen our engagement with highly-respected experts from churches through other public and internal meetings.