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Key points for understanding the Inter-religious gathering in Assisi

Card. Peter TurksonPresident, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace“The goal of the first celebration ; was to promote peace. Peace in the world, peace among men and peace for mankind. The challenges in the world have since increased. This anniversary re-emphasizes the reason why John Paul II invited all religions to work toward world peace and the good of mankind.”This time around, 300 representatives from the world?s major religions are expected. Among them is the main leader of the Orthodox Church, Bartholomew I. Also Rowan Williams, the primate of the Anglican Church, and a special envoy from the king of Saudi Arabia. Prince Faisal of Jordan is also expected as is the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni. Also going is the nephew of Mahatma Gandhi. But many more are expected. Msgr. Melchor Sánchez de TocaUnder-Secretary, Pontifical Council for Culture"Delegates from other Christian Churches, Eastern Churches and Christian communities that rose from the Reformation. ; Among other religions, there is a large number of Muslims and Buddhist representatives. ; Religions of India, traditional religions, representatives from different schools and associations in the Jewish world. Also new this year, there will be four or five people representing those who don?t believe.”Among the non believers is Julia Kristeva, who works as a linguist and psychoanalyst. Also professor Reno Bodei who teaches philosophy at the University of Pisa. Mexican philosopher Guillermo Hurtado will be there was well as Austrian economist Walter Baier. Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de TocaUnder-Secretary, Pontifical Council for Culture“We wanted to include a certain cultural perspective that represents non-believers. It?s a phenomenon that?s mostly seen in the Western world, meaning Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand.”Card. Peter TurksonPresident, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace “By including people who profess or seek faith, we emphasize that, through reason, we seek the truth that is accessible to people who don?t believe.”A train station located in the Vatican will be the means of transportation for the pope, as well as other religious representatives. Once they arrive, some of them will give a speech in the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi. After lunch, they will have time for ; personal reflections. However, the Vatican has highlighted that there will be no common prayer, rather all representatives will pray individually. Msgr. Melchor Sánchez de TocaUnder-Secretary, Pontifical Council for Culture“Prayer will be part of this meeting, but it won?t be the main focus. Each person will be assigned a space in the convent of Assisi. There one can meditate, pray, rest, reflect-whatever they consider most appropriate.”What all representatives will do together, is to renew their commitment for peace. The theme of the meeting is “Pilgrims of Faith. Pilgrims of Peace.” The mission isn?t simple, but with their presence, all religious leaders are showing their commitment to the cause.BR/KLHFFHCPR