Back to listMar 24, 2012

SGI-Spain Hosts Interfaith Discussion on Ecology and Religions

Daniela Astrid KleinDeputy Mayor Fausto Fernández Díaz (left), Mr. Enrique Caputo (center) and ADIM President Margarita Pintos (right)

SGI-Spain hosted the 9th Interfaith Discussion organized by the Madrid Community Interfaith Dialogue Association (ADIM) at the SGI-Spain Soka Culture Center in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Madrid, on March 24. Discussions centered around the topic of ecology and religions and the role of religions in promoting sustainability.

SGI-Spain General Director Enrique Caputo and ADIM President Margarita Pintos Cea-Naharro gave opening remarks. A talk titled "Rivas-Vaciamadrid: Sustainable City" was given by Fausto Fernández Díaz, deputy mayor of Rivas-Vaciamadrid. Alicia Puleo García, professor of Moral Philosophy at Valladolid University, next spoke on "Eco-feminism for an Alternative World." 

In a session focused on the contributions of religion to the Earth Charter, Juan José Tamayo Acosta, professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Carlos III University of Madrid, shared a 13-point proposal about the role of religions in this regard. Points addressed included the promotion of peace through compassion, nonviolence, reconciliation and forgiveness; the practice of tolerance and dialogue; building solidarity; promoting equality, respect and hospitality, especially to those in need; and inspiring hope through fighting fatalism.

SOH exhibitionSOH exhibition at the SGI-Spain Soka Culture Center

The second session focused on the positive ecological practices of various religious groups. SGI's video "A Quiet Revolution" was shown, introducing three case studies of how individuals in India, Slovakia and Kenya have contributed to solving local environmental problems. Guest speakers included Valeriane Bernard, representative of Brahma Kumaris to the UN Office at Geneva; Daniel Truran, European Bahá’í Business Forum Director; and Christian Jansen, general director of the New Vrajamandala Farming Community. The event ended with a performance by the SGI-Spain youth chorus.

SGI and the Earth Charter's joint exhibition "Seeds of Hope" (SOH) was also held at the center in conjunction with the interfaith event. On March 23, the opening ceremony for the exhibition was held, with SGI-Spain General Director Enrique Caputo speaking, followed by Jorge Romea, Chief of Environmental Services of the City Council of Rivas-Vaciamadrid. SGI-Spain Public Relations Officer Inés Vázquez also gave an overview of SOH.

Mr. Romea commented that the content and design of the exhibition are easy to understand for both adults and children and expressed his hope for SOH to be held at the Environmental Protection Center in Rivas-Vaciamadrid in the future.

[Adapted from a report from SGI-Spain; photos courtesy of SGI-Spain]