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World’s Religious Leaders Meet To Discuss Education and Religion

Around 20 representatives from the world's different religions gathered at the Vatican on October 5.

Last week, the Vatican hosted a meeting of the world’s religions, attended by leaders and representatives of each religion. Some 20 representatives were present at the meeting, including Pope Francis. They met on October 5, World Teacher’s Day, to talk about how “religions can promote an open and inclusive education for the common good.”

The inter-religious gathering, whose theme is “Religions and Education: Towards a Global Compact on Education,” is part of the Global Compact on Education–an initiative that Pope Francis began in 2019. (Read: ‘1Godly Vote’ Voters’ Education Campaign Launched By Manila Archdiocese)

The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education issued a statement regarding the gathering and what the leaders discussed, saying, “By means of education, religions contribute to promoting the human person, and they aim to cooperate actively with international organizations to educate young people to a culture of peace and fraternity.”

New undertakings

Dax Macaraya, a second grade teacher at Malanday Elementary School in Marikina, with her students. (Photo from JL Javier/CNN Philippines)

The actions and reflections discussed during the meeting will be vital in helping further research in the five areas of the Global Compact on Education move forward. These five areas are human dignity and rights, fraternity and cooperation, technology and holistic ecology, peace and citizenship, and culture and religions.

The themes will each have their own subsequent discussion and meeting with the goal of “actualizing the undertakings of the educational pact both locally and globally, in cooperation with a wide network of universities.”

These undertakings will add to the list of the projects already started by various organizations in relation to education–a list which has been growing notably ever since the Pope’s launch of the project two years ago. (Read: 12 of the Best Educational Podcasts on Spotify)

Religions and the youth

Photo from Global Compact on Education Facebook

According to the Congregation, the Global Compact on Education is not only an idea, but also has practical implications. They added that the youth has made significant contributions to education, fraternity, and religion–stating that they have paved the way for dialogues between cultures and creating a “civilization of harmony”.

In the meeting, it was noted that the leaders have shared ideas and suggestions based on their own experiences, traditions, and cultures. “Knowing and appreciating each other’s plans for education is a way to consolidate contacts among the members of diverse confessions, with a view to ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue”, the Vatican Congregation said.

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