Intercultural, Interreligious and Interethnic Dialogue

February 27 11:52 2015 Print This Article

Intercultural, Interreligious and Interethnic Dialogue


The Department operates in CCERPA and it was founded in 2014, on the initiative of some members and contributors of the CCERPA Center. The Department is composed of representatives of the three great monotheistic religions, respectivelyChristian, Mosaic and Islamic, coming from the academic and research environment, as well asfrom religious and cultural institutions.

The coordinators of the Department are Mr. Marius D. OBLU, theologian – specialist in ecumenical dialogueand interreligious relations, and Dr. Daniel CERGAN, theologian – specializedinHistory.

In addition to Victor Hugo, who stated that “tolerance is the only flame that can enlighten a great spirit”, the French philosopher Voltaire wrote somewhere: “To offer mutual forgiveness is the first law of Nature”. Equality among people should represent a real way of living,and not just a declarative concept, which is sometimes impossible to achieve. In order to make possible for equality among people to really become a reality, knowledge is required. One needs to know his interlocutor, by the availability, but most of all through dialogue. The interest for dialogue and for all the principles that derive of it leads to mutual understanding, respect and – why not? –cooperation.


Having as a creed the values and principles of the dialogue, the members of the Department aim, by their activities, to become, in time, a reference point, both internal and internationally,with respect to the managing of intercultural, interreligious and interethnic relationships.

Romania – a country with a millennial Christian tradition –was and still is a State whose politics is based on mutual respect, peace and, most of all, on the non-interference in other countries’ politics. Therefore, we may say that thanks to the Romanian diplomacy Romania now has wonderful relationships with most countries of the world.

The presence of many ethnical communities inside our country, but most of all the good cohabitation of these with the majority population, here implying without restraint the good interreligious relations too, make Romania an exampleworth following for many other countries. The interculturalexchanges between the ethnical communities and the Romanian majority populationhave made history, and we can define them by the phrase “diversityin unity”.

Religion, an important factor which differentiates in a positive way the ethnical communities, has always been a way of life for people. But its interpretation and misuse sadly led to actions directed against human beings and against society in its whole.

Thus, the events that took place especially in the Arabic and Islamic world, as well as the apparition of extremist tendencies which in some cases take terrorist forms by the misuse of religion and of its functions, have put the Islamic religious traditionin a bad light. Islam is often seen as a religion that promotes violenceor even murder, and it is considered a real danger for regional and international safety and security. And this opinion seems to gain ground in the global common mentality.

In order to change the wrong perception about Islam and its teachings we must cultivate the dialogue,as well as the interreligious relations. The interreligious dialogue is something we cannot overlook in a contemporary world ever more subjected to the globalization and secularizationphenomenon. Dialoguehelps us discover and understand the moral and ethical common elementswhich are essential for our religions and this way we can try to unite them in one ethics, independent of our theological perspectives. Because it is obvious and it has been proven by history that great religions will not agree on theological issues; but for the sake of our future and that of the generations to come, the leaders of the great religions and the deciding factorsmust agree on moral issues.

By its geopolitical importance, Romania,often called “the East gate” and a contact point with the Arab and Muslim world, can be a reference country for Eastern Europe, and not only. It is by far an example with respect to the interreligious dialogue, an evidence for that being the good cohabitation between different religions and faiths, a unique feature of the Romanian territory, but most of all the relevant legislation by which the Romanian State, although religiously neutral, supports the work of all recognized religions.

By theDepartment for Intercultural, Interreligious and Interethnic Dialogue we are trying to create a link between the cultureand the traditions of Eastern Europe and those of the Arabic countries with Islamic tradition. The interest for the Arabic cultureand civilizationwas and still is a constant preoccupation for many Romanian students and researchers. What we intend by means of this Department is first of all to provide information at the highest academic level,information that reflects the correct reality of our religious cultureand traditions.


Marius D. OBLU (
Dr. Daniel CERGAN (


• organizing symposiums, conferences, debates and round tables on activity specific topics;
• conducting elaborate studies on current issues of the Romanian and international society;
• organizing eventsthat support the development of mutual understanding and of the closeness between the cultures and mentalities of the nations considered;
• signing partnerships with institutions and organizations – on an internal and international level –which cover the same fields of interest;
• identifying recommendations in the field of decision factors and of civil society actorsin order to improve the environment of the intercultural and interethnic dialogue in the country, as well as in the areas considered;
• identifyingand exploringthe dialogue policies and the related thematic implications;
• underlining the importance of the dialogue in inter-human relationships and facilitatingmultilateral cooperation between Romania, the Member States of the European Union and the Arabic States.


• The Annual Summer School
– It reunites in Bucharest (or a city in Romania), for 1 week, youth – from European and Arabic countries – who work or wish to work in institutions which have as a main purpose promoting the dialogue between nations and creating specialistsin thisrespect; there will be held seminars, workshops and study visits that cover the understanding of the topics proposed for debateon all levels.

S purpose for delivering the second inaugural address