Youth Religious Consultative Group Created by Italian Government Ministries Meets with SGI Italy Youth
The Italian Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Youth Affairs have created a youth religious consultative group to cooperate with and advise the two ministries on religious, multicultural and multiethnic affairs. The consultative group has been meeting with its various component religious groups. On June 25, 2007, the group and Minister for Youth Affairs Giovanna Melandri met with 500 SGI Italy youth division members at the SGI Rome Culture Center. A panel of youth representatives from the Catholic community, the Italian Buddhist Union, the Evangelical Church and the Muslim community discussed the importance of respect for other religious traditions and the need for dialogue in overcoming religious conflicts and misunderstandings. Francesco Spano, coordinator of the consultative group, also explained the scope of the group's mandate.
As one of Italy's most influential women, Ms. Melandri actively promotes reforms for fostering sound character development in young people. In her talk, Ms. Melandri said she empathizes with the concept of "human revolution" as espoused by the SGI--trusting and tapping the infinite potential inherent within each life and making efforts to cause an inner directed reformation--that has positive repercussions in one's immediate environment. Ms. Melandri also referenced the dialogue between the late Club of Rome founder Aurelio Peccei and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda and expressed her confidence that fostering mutual understanding and having trust in youth will contribute to the betterment of Italian society as well as the world at large.
[Adapted from an SGI-Italy report and an article in the July 4, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]