US/World News

Latin America and the Caribbean declared ‘Inter-Religious Coexistence Zone’

(JTA) – Thirty leaders of different religious traditions from Latin America and the Caribbean have signed the “Cordoba Declaration,” identifying the region as an area of interreligious coexistence.

The declaration was signed Monday, Oct. 30 in the Cordoba province, located in the center of Argentina. “Under the premise of not waiting for – paradoxically – miraculous solutions, regional organizations representing four faiths in Latin America are building something that undoubtedly constitutes pride for the entire region,” said Claudio Epelman, executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, who also handles Vatican relations for the World Jewish Congress.

The Latin American Jewish Congress is one of four organizations that will sign the declaration.

Epelman in 2014 organized a delegation of 45 businesspeople and politicians – Jews, Muslims and Catholics, and interfaith leaders from Argentina to visit Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. “The Declaration is proof that interreligious coexistence is possible, and helps to shield the region so that it does not import conflicts from other parts of the world, but rather exports the message that coexistence is possible,” Epelman told JTA. The groups that will sign the document are the Latin American Episcopal Council; the Latin American Jewish Congress; the Latin American Council of Churches; and the Islamic Organization for Latin America and the Caribbean. The document also will be signed by representatives of these religious groups from Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

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