Fundamentalist or Responsible Citizen?
The Contribution of Religious Communities to the Formation of European Citizens.
28 November to 5 December 2010 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Our God has called us here all together, Jews, Christians and Muslims, motivated to encourage young religious people to take a more active role in public life within Europe. In light of the changing religious composition of European societies, increased xenophobia, and a trend towards excluding religion from civil discourse, our aim was to propose ways in which young religious European citizens can take a more active role in fulfilling their duties towards society as a whole.
We are concerned over the rise of extremist attitudes, sometimes identified with fundamentalism, whether religious or secular. We believe that religions, cultures and civil systems can work together towards common objectives.
We assert that religious identity should not be excluded from the public sphere, and that in order to achieve a fairer society, people of all backgrounds and beliefs must take an equal part in civil activities.
To achieve this, we recommend:
Formal, informal and non-formal educational initiatives:
- to raise awareness about the role of religious communities within
- to raise awareness of civil duties within religious communities;
- to increase understanding of different religions and perspectives;
- to help all people to see beyond stereotypes;
Dialogue and collaboration:
- on an individual level: getting to know each other, listening, and
sharing life experiences;
- between religions and secular authorities;
- to build networks involving different religious and secular communities
and policy influencing organisations;
- by young religious citizens in politics, media and NGO work;
- in setting an example, becoming involved in voluntary services.
These are activities that will need to be continued by all members of European society on a long-term basis. We must persevere towards a more committed, more responsible and more inclusive society, all together.
Sarajevo, 4th December 2010