On the occasion of this year’s Olympic Games here, an international religious conference on the theme of religion, peace and the Olympian ideal was held in Athens’ Amarusion quarter under the patronage of His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Greek President Konstantin Stefanopoulos August 10-11, 2004.
The Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, OCA Ecumenical Officer and President of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, served as Vice-Moderator of the Conference, which was organized by the Brussels representative office of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the municipality of Amarusion.
The conference included representatives of the Christian [Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant], Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist religious communities. It is noteworthy that Patriarch Bartholomew took part in the conference not only by welcoming the participants, but also by offering a presentation.
The conference opened on the evening of August 10 with welcoming remarks by Patriarch Bartholomew and Amarusion mayor Panaiotis Gianikos. Several other welcoming and introductory speeches and a formal reception for all participants and guests followed.
On August 11 a day-long conference session addressed three basic topics: religion and the appeal for peace, the Olympian ideal and peaceful coexistence of nations, and religion and the Olympian ideal. At the conclusion of the conference participants unanimously adopted the Olympian peace charter, i.e. the declaration of this important interfaith conference.