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Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia has backed the idea to hold the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly in Romania in 2007
Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia has backed the idea to hold the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly in Romania in 2007. Secretary General of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) Keith Clements announced this after the meeting with Alexis II at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday. According to Keith Clements, the patriarch reaffirmed his intention to support and participate in the CEC work. This forum continues the process launched in Basel in 1989 when the first assembly was held. "Patriarch Alexis and Cardinal Martini were the cochairmen of that conference," he said. In his words, Alexis II was one of the main speakers at the 2nd European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz (Austria) in 1997. Keith Clements is convinced that dialogue has no alternatives in the modern religious conditions in Europe. "Together with Catholic partners we are concerned about the dialogue between Christians and believers of other religions. We cannot forget that Christianity has Jewish roots and Jesus Christ was a Jew," he emphasized. Islam is a "very important phenomenon" in Europe today, the CEC Secretary General stressed. "After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States the dialogue between Moslems and Christians has become especially vital," he noted. Some years ago the Conference of European Churches and the Catholic Church set up a joint committee to study Islam in Europe, Keith Clements reported. On his part, new CEC President Jean-Arnold de Clermont said that during the EU enlargement churches could help create a wider Europe, outside the EU boundaries. "In this case we need the experience of the Russian Orthodox Church," he stressed. "We have survived the cold war epoch. However, the support and development of relations between Christians in Eastern and Western Europe is a CEC key goal," said Jean-Arnold de Clermont. "It is very important that we are here on the eve of the celebrations of Auschwitz's liberation by the Red Army," he noted. According to the president, "the hardest experiment of the concentration camps was the denial of the right to life when people were given numbers". "Today the Christian churches should claim that the right to human dignity was given by God and our common mission is to give people His love," Jean-Arnold de Clermont emphasized. Ecumenism is an international movement uniting all Christians. The Conference of European Churches unites over 120 European Christian churches except the Roman Catholic Church. The organization was established in 1950 to become a bridge between western and eastern Christians. The Russian Orthodox Church was among CEC founders. Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia was holding the post of the CEC President for several years.
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