Poverty and income inequality featured among the key topics at the Central European Interfaith Forum (CEIF 2016), which hosted more than 150 participants representing 20 nations, 3 continents, 7 world religions as well as other religious, spiritual or humanist traditions. The gathering took place in Nitra, Slovakia, on 25 July 2016. The alarming trends of nationalism, extremism and xenophobia in our societies, as well as the world’s complex economic, social and political issues, require dialogue between the spiritual individuals, communities, authorities, and the guiding institutions of this world. In order to thoroughly discuss the topic of poverty and to network the concerned individuals and institutions, the Forum featured a main panel entitled “Inner Roots of Poverty”, a round table on poverty, a lively NGO Forum, as well as an Interfaith Meeting in Prayer and Thought which frequently referenced the issues of poverty and inequality.
In the Nitra Statement, the essential policy outcome of the conference, poverty is highlighted both directly and indirectly. In these darkening times, reads the Statement, dialogue is essential. True dialogue, however, must be conducted out of respect for the other. True dialogue must also be underpinned by knowledge. “Live and let live” is no longer sufficient in a Europe overwhelmed by migration and other challenges. Solidarity in action must be based on the principle “live and help live”. The Nitra Statement can be accessed here.
The discussion panel on “Inner Roots of Poverty” featured Professor Vladimír Krčméry, Rector of St Elizabeth University of Health and Social Sciences and Manager of RESOTY Resocialization Community of Anton Srholec, Jo Bothmer, Co-founder of the European Anti- Poverty Network, Anna Záborská, Member of European Parliament, and Federico Reho, Researcher of the Martens Centre. Moderated by Tomáš Horváth, civic activist and teacher with Teach for Slovakia, the panel also featured contributions from leading members of the Slovak Anti-Poverty Network, Slavomíra Mareková and Peter Seman.
Read more about the Center European Interfaith Forum here