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Reflecting on the Value of Interfaith Education and its Role as a Part of a National Policy in Colombia

On 24 July 2020 a webinar on Intercultural and Interfaith Education was organized by World Vision Colombia in collaboration with Arigatou International Geneva, the Ministry of Interior of Colombia and the Interreligious Movement in Favor of Children in Colombia.

During the webinar, Dr. Lorena Rios, Director of Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Interior of Colombia, shared the national Public Policy on Freedom of Religion and Beliefs adopted in Colombia in 2018. She highlighted how this policy was built through a process of dialogue and understanding.

Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Executive Director, Arigatou International Geneva, spoke about ethics education and its relation to interfaith learning and shared the work of Arigatou International through its Learning to Live Together Programme. She emphasized how interfaith education was key in the discussions. They established a working group including schools, universities, and other stakeholders to share ideas only on this topic. “If we build solid foundations for our new generations, we will have wonderful adults. This is not only a religious topic, but also about citizenship and public health,” she stated.

When asked about the importance of intercultural education in a country where the majority of the population identifies themselves with Catholicism, she explained that “an interreligious education can help us learn, and value the diversity, and also recognize the minority groups we have in our country.”

The meeting was moderated by Mr. Jefferson Rodriguez, National Coordinator of Partnerships with the Interreligious Sector, World Vision Colombia; and Ms. Olga Lucia Sierra Santos, Member of the Interreligious Movement for Children – Bogota.

We thank World Vision Colombia for inviting us to take part in this conversation.

The full webinar is available here.

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