April 15, 2011

Patriarch Bartholomew: Religion Not A Cause of Conflicts Among People

April 15, 2011

Religion is not the primary source of the current problems and increasing tensions in the world, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew said Thursday.

“We believe that religious differences do not cause conflicts among people and this fact needs to be understood,” he said, speaking at the 14th Eurasian Economic Summit held by the Marmara Group Strategic and Social Research Foundation.

“We believe Turkey to have a great role and responsibility in the future of the globalizing world,” the patriarch said. “In this perspective, religion is also an important dynamic in the world’s transformation.”

As global problems and conflicts have grown, the role of religion in international relations has increasingly begun to be perceived as a negative element, Bartholomew said. “Western and secular people have depicted religion as the sole factor responsible for the problems of the world,” he said. “But religion is not the factor that should be accused.”

Also speaking at the summit, Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, the Vatican ambassador to Ankara, said governments and administrations must respect the freedom of religion and conscience to maintain peace, security and democracy.