National Council for a Dialogue about the religious freedoms in June 2015

The Government of Slovenia established the National Council for a Dialogue about the religious freedoms in June 2015. The Council will include representatives ofsupposedly the four major religious communities, two elected members by small religious communities and representatives of state and professionDuring the summer 2015, the Ministry of Culture and its office for religious communities, on behalf of the government organized and facilitated the elections for two permanent sits in the council amongst 45 registered Communities under the Law on Religious Freedom. The two elected members are: Marko Hren, representative of Cosmological society UPASANA – Sanyama Free Spirit and Anton Mrvič, representative of Evangelic Christian Community. UPASANA SPD raised  the support of a range (more then 9) communities registered under the Law on Religious Freedom. Nine (9) communities joined the program- based coalition. The program will be presented to the president of the republic and to the minister of culture who serves as the president of the Council, prior to the first meeting of the council which is scheduled for mid-November 2015. The coalition will make a particular emphasis on the international outreach of the Council, notably due to recent debates related to the migrants issue in EU. UPASANA will promote compassion, active nonviolent conflict resolution and tolerance amongst and between members of religious communities across Europe. The consequences of migration waves due to conflict zones in EU neighbourhood (not only related to Ukraine and Syria) are unpredictable, as are unpredictable and questionable the current approaches of some of the EU member states, particularly those, openly favouring single –religion identities while granting asylum and sanctuary (for example   the recent announcements of exclusive migration policies by some political forces in Czech and Slovak Republic as well as in Poland). We will promote an active stand of Slovenian Council as well as of Slovenian politics concerning the issues of equal human rights for all migrants and refugee seekers.

Official website of the National Council for a Dialogue about the religious freedoms

Marko Hren, representative of UPASANA in the National Council, will promote the following principles during his 5-year mandate in the Council for a dialogue on religious freedoms:

–       Interreligious dialog shall be understood in a development context, thus, providing conditions for a sustainable, vital and creative future. In this context, we refer – to and recall the UN Agenda for Development post 2015, which puts sufficient accent on traditional, pre-colonial, native faith cultures, knowledge and traditions. These shall be fully integrated in development policies of all UN member states and in the multilateral development cooperation. The traditional knowledge holds an unprecedented potential for innovative approaches to the protection of biodiversity and habitats of all living beings on the Planet and in the Universe. Traditional ethnic religions and natural beliefs are habitat-based and community–based. Therefore, closely related to the nature (Slavic PRI-ROD-A) and to the community (Slavic: ROD). ROD and PRI-RODA are two interwoven pillars of native faith cosmologies.  In this respect, the interreligious dialogue is emblematically an issue of sustainable development.

–       Interreligious dialogue shall be based on and shall promote the constitutional ethical values derived from the freedom of consciousness and freedom of belief. The Constitutional Court of Slovenia provided a visionary and state-of the art (mandatory) explanation of the principle of religious freedom. The Court is promoting the principle of in-divisibility of the freedom of belief and of the principle of the neutral State when the issues concerning beliefs are at stake. UPASANA will promote the constitutionally granted rights of citizens, to live in a religious-neutral State. This
principle will affect a range of governmental policies, including culture, education and environment entrepreneurship.

–   Interreligious dialogue is being launched in a historical moment.
–   The representatives of    UPASANA and of  Staroslavov  Hram have contributed exhaustive arguments concerning the historical momentum in their written contributions for the Interreligious dialogue meeting in spring  2015 organised by Slovenian Ministry of culture: the essays are published here:

The authors argue, that centuries behind us have prevented the rise of traditional beliefs also with most violent means. The 20ties century has brutally stopped the enlightened streams of revealing consciousness by two devastating wars in Europe.  Particularly in Slovenia, the knowledge about traditional beliefs and rituals hardly survived over 21st century notably due to the annihilation practices during the 1st world war. Slovenia is therefore facing a challenging task, to bring unrevealed history to the front of the reconciliation debate in the country and feed development scenarios with precious traditional values, practices, knowledge about habitats and species and the understanding of cosmological phenomena and related etymology. This would only be possible through well-thought-over trans-disciplinary process.  We observe the creation of the Council for the dialogue on religious freedom as a historical move and we grow high expectations directed towards the Council members. Let the forces of Nature be behind them to support the tasks entrusted to the Council!


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