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“RELIGIONS AND ENVIRONMENT”: THE 8TH ROUND OF RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE ISLAMIC CULTURE AND RELATIONS ORGANIZATION (ICRO) OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN AND THE CATHOLICOSATE OF CILICIA INITIATED ITS MEETING IN ANTELIAS

27 June 2018

The 8th Round of Religious Dialogue between the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Armenian Church, Catholicosate of Cilicia, under the title “Religions and Environment,” was held at the Catholicosate, in Antelias, from June 27th to June 29th, 2018.

 

The opening ceremony of the three-day program took place on Wednesday evening, during which His Holiness Aram I and Dr. Abouzar Ebrahimi Turkaman, President of ICRO, addressed the convention.

 

His Holiness stated that these rounds of dialogues aim at discussing concerns and challenges which impact the daily lives of the society, hence the issues are not theoretical but existential in nature. Aram I asserted that addressing the environmental crisis is a priority and discussing it does not only concern scientists but also the Church, given that the relationship of human beings with the Creator and Creation is the basis of their relationship with the environment. Finally, His Holiness summarized the Christian approach on the matter and concluded by underlining the importance of referring to a theocentric approach and Christian ethics in solving the crisis, over against an anthropocentric approach.

 

In turn, Dr. Ebrahimi addressed the assembly and, delivering his opening speech, stated that the rapid growth of technology on the one hand, and the increase of man's dominance over the environment on the other, has had a negative impact on the environment. Dr. Ebrahimi talked about two approaches based on the principle of man’s domination of the environment and it’s consequences if these approaches continue taking shape in the absence of accountability to God. Finally, he concluded by suggesting solutions that result from the perspective of both religions.

 

Following the official opening, the first session of the Dialogue took place, where Ayatollah Dr. Ahmad Moballeghi, Member of the Assembly of Experts, and H.E. Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, Prelate of Tehran, presented their papers on “Interaction of Religious Leaders with the Environment: Two Prominent Exemplars are Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and Jesus Christ (pbuh).”

 

The first day concluded with a group photo.