On Friday, November 20, 2020, the Orthodox Academy of Crete held a virtual conference “Religions and Extreme Ideologies” with invited prominent keynote speakers with different areas of specialization, ranging from politics to church and theology, who discussed the phenomenon of various extremist actions in Europe and the world.
The speakers expounded upon issues related to the instrumentalization of religion and of Islam, in particular, the effectiveness of interfaith dialogues, the contribution of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church through its texts to deal with the extreme phenomenon of fundamentalism as well as and the current situation in modern Greek reality.
More specifically, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France stressed the dimension of freedom of speech, as it is understood in France, in contrast to the Greek and Islamic world and that the basis for a peaceful coexistence is respect for the other. According to the Metropolitan, the issue of freedom of speech is a big issue that can not be limited to a single discussion and, therefore, there is an urgent need for extensive and continuous dialogue, especially in academia.
Afterwards, Maximos Charakopoulos, member of the Hellenic Parliament and secretary-general of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy (IAO), stressed that the concepts of respect, freedom of speech and thought are fundamental to both the European Union and all democratic countries of the world. The IAO, as an Inter-Parliamentary body, created on the initiative of the Hellenic Parliament, will continue to promote parliamentary democracy and values in political dialogue in the interest of our society.