4-6 September 2023, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (and online)
4-6 September 2023, Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár/Klausenburg), Romania (and online)
The multifaith, multicultural and multiethnic community that makes the IARF, whose history began 122 years ago in 1901 at the first international gathering of people inspired by liberal religion, invites everyone to join us in Romania – and online – at our 36th World Congress.
This year, for the first time in our history, we will make the Congress fully available online, hoping to make it possible for everyone to join us through an online environment that offers interactive live broadcasts of all events, side events for those in distant time zones and a virtual lobby where participants can get to know each other, talk, meet and experience the community dimension of the Congress even if they cannot travel to Romania.
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The Theme of our Congress is Faith in Reconciliation. We see conflict around the world and we see religious freedom threatened by those who are determined that their particular view must prevail. And yet, who will speak out for the oppressed? and who can be trusted to act impartially to reconcile our differences?
Many members of the IARF and our partners have been and still are involved in conflict resolution and reconciliation efforts around the globe – in Northern Ireland, Germany & Poland, Israel & Palestine, India, Korea & Japan, South Africa and elsewhere.
In the Congress, we hope to explore the ways in which religion can inspire and fuel efforts to bring about healing, reconciliation and just peace through stories, learning, art, interfaith worship and personal relationships.
We will be discussing, amongst other things:
Faith in Reconciliation can be understood in two ways: as the question “What role has faith or religion played in reconciliation and conflict resolution and what role can it play in the future?” – as well as a statement that calls for personal reflection – “do I, does my community, have faith in reconciliation, does our religion help us to retain hope that it is attainable in our societies and regions”?
Reconciliation as a concept, a process, a principle or value can be viewed from different perspectives – such as social studies, philosophy, psychology and theology – as well as an experience, an existential reality that is a part of every human life.
We hope to address this multifaceted nature of reconciliation – and, by necessity, conflict – and provide an opportunity to gain both knowledge – through lectures, talks and workshops – as well as experience – through exchanging stories and listening to each other, contemplating art and worshipping together.
The IARF was established in 1900 as the world’s first international interfaith organisation and brought together representatives of liberal religion from different traditions, cultures and continents. Currently it has over 40 members, religious communities, educational institutions and others, in Africa, America, Europe, the Middle East as well as South and East Asia. They represent such diverse religious traditions as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native religions, Shintoism, Unitarianism/Universalism, Zoroastrianism and others.
|London ( UK)||Proceedings published as Liberal Religious Thought at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century.|
|Amsterdam ( Netherlands)||Congress of Religious Free-thinkers|
|Geneva ( Switzerland)||Congress of Religious and Progressive Christians|
|Boston ( USA)||Fourth International Congress of Religious Liberals|
|Berlin (Germany)||World Congress of Free Christianity and Religious Progress|
|Paris ( France)||International Congress for Religious Progress – Progressive Christians and Free Religious Believers|
|Boston ( USA)|
Leiden ( Netherlands)
|Prague ( Czech Republic)||Seventh Congress of Free Christians and Other Religious Liberals|
|Copenhagen (Denmark)||11 th International Congress of Religious Liberals|
|Oxford ( UK)||Liberal Christianity: The World’s Need|
|Amsterdam (Netherlands)||The Mission and Message of Liberal Religion|
|Oxford ( UK)||Authority and Freedom in the Modern World|
|Belfast ( UK)||Liberal Religion in an Age of Anxiety|
|University of Chicago ( USA)||Today’s Religions Can Meet the World’s Needs Today|
|Davos ( Switzerland)||The Unity of Mankind in Our Divided World|
|The Hague ( Netherlands)||A Religion for the World of Tomorrow|
|London ( UK)||The Spiritual Challenge of Mankind Today and Our Response|
|Boston ( USA)||Religious Encounter with the Changing World|
|Heidelberg ( Germany)||Man, His Freedom and His Future|
|Oxford ( UK)||The Limits of Toleration Today|
|Noordwijkerhout ( Netherlands)||The Tide of Religion|
|Tokyo ( Japan)||Religious Path to Peace: Eastern Initiative & Western Response|
|Stanford CA ( USA)||World Religions Face the 21st Century|
Hamburg ( Germany) Religions Co-operating for the World
|Bangalore ( India)||Living our Faiths, Working Together for Peace and Justice|
|Iksan City ( Korea Rep)||Spirituality . Responsibility . Cooperation|
|Vancouver ( Canada)||Creating an Earth Community: A Religious Imperative|
|Budapest ( Hungary)||Religious Freedom: Europe’s Story for Today’s World|
|Kaohsiung ( Taiwan)||Dignity in Diversity|
|Kochi ( India)||From Conflict to Reconciliation: The Challenge of the 21st Century|
Challenges for Religious Freedom in the digital age
Reimagining Interfaith Cooperation
Faith in Reconciliation
Please use the form below to register. There are two types of Congress passes – regular ones, for in-person participation, and online ones. We’re also offering a number of rooms at the Unitarian Collage as well as breakfasts and dinners that will be served at the venue. You may also register for the pre-Congress tour.
If you cannot use any of the payment methods offered by Ticket Tailor or encounter any other problems during registration, please contact the administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Luke will be happy to assist you with all matters related to registration and payments.
We will be sponsoring a number of participants to attent the Congress as well as offering free online passes. The full sponsorships will include travel, accommodation at a hostel-type room and meals. An application form will be made available on 1 June and we will accept applications for full sponsorships until 15 June. You will be notified if you were granted the sponsorship by 1 July.
The full programme will be published by the end of May. Please check the website for updates regarding the programme or sign up for our newsletter. Registered participants will be regularely updated.
The Venue of the Congress will be the Unitarian College and the House of Religious Freedom in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The opening ceremony will be held at the Unitarian Church. All buildings are located in one district in close proximity.
The Pre-Congress Tour includes visits to historic sights of Unitarianism in nearby Transylvanian locations, such as the monument-church- museum in Torda (RO Turda), the citadel of Deva, a Unitarian high school in Székelykeresztúr (Cristuru Secuiesc), fortified churches of Nagyajta (Aita Mare), Székelyderzs (Dirjiu), Saxon cities of Segesvár (Sighisoara/Schesburg) and Nagyszeben (Sibiu/Hermanstadt), and encountering Gypsy and Romanian cultural sites in Transylvania.
While in Cluj-Napoca, we plan to visit various Roman Catholic, Reformed, Jewish, Orthodox, Greco Catholic congregations.
On September 2, Saturday we will participate in an open air gathering and communion in Szejkefürdő, where tour participants will have an opportunity to introduce themselves.
This tour will be by bus from Cluj-Napoca, and you should be prepared to do considerable walking. Also on the itinerary, weather permitting, there will be a fun wagon ride and some folk dancing.
Please Note: To participate in the Pre-Congress Tour, you should arrive in Cluj-Napoca no later than August 31.
Please contact the Rev. Kinga-Reka Székely from the Hungarian Unitarian Church at email@example.com with all questions related to the tour.
The IARF Administrator, Lukasz Liniewicz, will be happy to assist you with all matters related to the Congress. Please address your questions regarding the registration process, the programme, visa issues and travel and accommodation at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form below.