Protecting Religious Communities: What role for Youth?

21 July 2017
Despite a proliferation of policies and multilateral initiatives, a growing number of communities and individuals around the world have been persecuted or seriously discriminated against because of their religion in the last few years. How can new political and diplomatic efforts counter this trend? Can intercultural dialogue and engagement with religious actors, civil societies and youth provide tools to move forward?

International experts, policy makers and religious leaders gathered in Rome on 13 July to discuss these issues at the conference “Protecting Religious Communities. Investing in Young People as Leaders of New Opportunities for encounters, dialogue and peaceful coexistence between peoples”.

The event, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ISPI, paid special attention to the current situation in the Middle East and Mediterranean.

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See Mons. Paul Gallagher and Secretary General of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Elisabetta Belloni, opened the conference while ISPI President Amb. Giampiero Massolodelivered the closing remarks. (See full list of participants)

Videos of the conference 
Fabio Petito,
Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Sussex; Scientific Coordinator of ISPI–MAECI workshop on ‘Religions and International Relations’
HG Bishop Angaelos
General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom
Professor of Law and Religion, University of Milan – Italy
Knox Thames
Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South/Central Asia, U.S. Department of State – USA
Alberto Melloni
Professor of History of Christianity, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia — Italy
Representative of Prince Tahseen Said, the leader of the Yazidi community in Iraq and in the world – IRAQ