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07 / 07 / 2004
A commitment to establish a center for refugees in Algeciras is made known during the closure of the Assembly of Montserrat

Among the many initiatives discussed, the members the Montserrat Assembly gathered from July 5 to 7, agreed to set up a center for refugees from Northern Africa in Algeciras and to implement a cooperation project with the Tibet. The 400 participants discussed practical ways of alleviating problems arising from four of the world’s pressing issues: access to clean water, the situation of refugees, religious violence and the foreign debt in developing countries.

The last session of the assembly counted on the presence of the bishop of Bilbao, Ricardo Blázquez, the bishop of the Evangelical church of Finland, Jukka Paarma, alongside the executive director of the Parliament of World’s Religions, Dirk Ficca. The 400 participants reported back on their communities’ initiatives aimed at finding “deep yet simple” solutions to improve the world’s situation.

A Christian Evangelical committed himself along with his wife to establish a center for refugees from Northern Africa in the city of Algeciras. Another of his companions offered to fund an orphanage while the representative of a not-for-profit Spanish enterprise announced the approval of a project with refugees in Tibet.

For his part, a Costarrican citizen currently living in the Línea de la Concepción intends to open a center for refugees arriving from Africa in order to promote dialogue and activities involving Spanish nationals and immigrants alike. A citizen from Sarajevo also revealed his plans to promote interfaith meetings in Bosnia that involve Jewish, Muslims and Christians from the Middle East in order to enhance the peace process in the region. Likewise, a group of women from Galilee in northern Israel wishes to promote a women’s interfaith parliament in Israel.

Rabi David Rosen from the Jewish American Committee stated during the closure of the event, “The Parliament of the World’s Religions wants to tell the world that religions are a part of the solution to problems.” For his part the imam Rashid Omar from Cape Town welcomed the participation of members from grassroots organizations, “because interfaith dialogue is often limited to the leaders”, although this is a time “to assess the contribution of religions to some of the present-days problems and to the solutions.”