Friday, 29 January 2010, 19.00 – 20.30

Religions motivate people to relate to each other, to create understanding and to foster peace. But religions can be abused for political ideologies. Formulated as a universal right to truth, religion can turn into a claim to power, which may lead to violence. Recognizing this, the Ecumenical Council of Churches proclaimed the Decade for Overcoming Violence, which will end in 2010.


  • Does religion have a tendency to impose its claim to truth through violence? Under what conditions?
  • How is communal life possible in a society with multiple claims to truth?
  • Do political views promote a claim to truth, especially when they legitimatize themselves religiously?
  • Muhammad Ashafa, Imam, Interfaith Mediation Center (IMC), Nigeria
  • Edna Brocke, Head of the Old Synagogue Memorial in Essen
  • Marcia Pally, Professor of Multilingual Multicultural Studies, New York University, USA
  • Thomas Wipf, President of the Council, Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, Switzerland

Moderated by

  • Urs Leuthard, Moderator, Swiss Television SF DRS, Switzerland