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Diplomacy and religion in dialogue

The Transatlantic Policy Network for Religion and Diplomacy at the meeting at the Berliner Dom

The Transatlantic Policy Network for Religion and Diplomacy at the meeting at the Berliner Dom, © Janine Schmitz/photothek.de

11.10.2021 - Article

Eighty-four percent of the world population belongs to one religion or another. In order to better understand the work of religious communities and to strengthen their constructive potential, the Federal Foreign Office cultivates not only international but also interfaith dialogue.

One example is the Transatlantic Policy Network for Religion and Diplomacy, which will meet for the first time in Berlin from 11 to 13 October 2021. The network, which was founded back in 2015, primarily comprises diplomats from various foreign services and representatives from the world of academia from North America and Europe.

One of the aims of this year’s meeting is to further develop joint strategies on current global issues. Specifically, this also refers to the fight against COVID-19. Cooperation with religions – with a view to overcoming vaccine hesitancy, for example – will be an important focus at the meeting. Other issues will revolve around peacebuilding and the further development of cooperation between foreign services and academia on the issue of religion and foreign policy. 

Participants at this year’s network interfaith event will include Bishop of Augsburg Dr Bertram Meier and Plenipotentiary of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany Dr Martin Dutzmann. Last but not least, Secretary General Prof. Azza Karam from Religions for Peace, the world’s largest interfaith organisation, will also be in attendance. Religions for Peace has once again created an international forum for interfaith dialogue at its recent Generations in Dialogue conference in Lindau with 1700 participants from all over the world – including with the financial support of the Federal Foreign Office, which was also represented at this forum.

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