17 November, 2005
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, addressing the three-day International Inter-religious Conference here on Wednesday, called for the equal treatment of Christians in countries whose majority of the population are Moslems.
International personalities, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan and the former Iranian president, participated in the conference, as well as leading Church and international organization representatives.
The Patriarch said that the state of Christians in some Moslem countries is not safe and considerable steps are necessary to improve it. He further said that the differences between Moslems and Christians have their roots in politics and not in faith.
"Religion has repeatedly become the product of political exploitation in history for the creation of hostilities and the fuelling of fanaticism between people," he said.
The Ecumenical Patriarch stressed the great significance of dialogue between cultures and religions as the only means for peaceful coexistence among peoples, despite the difference in their faith.
He also thanked the Austrian government for its initiative in preparing and organizing the conference in Vienna under the title of "Islam in a pluralistic world", ahead of the Austrian European Union Presidency in the first half of 2006.
Source: Athens News Agency