Religious leaders support dialogue

A new centre for interreligious dialogue is opening today in Vienna.

The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) has been set up to encourage dialogue and foster mutual understanding among people of different faiths and cultures around the world.

KAICIID has the support of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

Dr Williams said: "This is a great initiative for all world religions."

The centre's founding has been overseen by Austria, Spain and Saudi Arabia, who together constitute the Council of Parties.

The Vatican is also supporting the initiative and has the role of Founding Observer.

The Secretary General of KAICIID, Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar stated: "It is my profound belief that this centre can become a place of leadership and applied learning, a place where candid dialogue among followers of different religions and cultures can flourish, so that we can value and cherish the richness of our diversity and live together as good neighbours.

"And I am convinced that KAICIID will, within a short period of time, build a bridge for better mutual understanding, facilitating interreligious and intercultural dialogue to enhance cooperation, respect for diversity, justice and peace."

The inauguration ceremony will be joined by Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who will deliver the keynote speech.

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