1-5 FEBRUARY 2010

In the spirit of unity and universal brotherhood, the Buddhist-Christian Symposium initiated by the late founder of the Focolare Movement, Madame Chiara Lubich, will hold its 4th Convention in the very heart of Buddhism in Thailand

under the auspices of Phra Dhammangalajahn
Abbot of Wat Phratat Sri Chomtong Voravihara
Chomthong, Chiang Mai Province

The said Convention is organized by the Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya University of Chiang Mai, in collaboration with the Focolare Movement in Thailand and Rissho Kosei-Kai, a Mahayan Buddhist Organization from Japan.

Main theme of the event will be “Dharma, Compassion and Agape in the contemporary world”.  The specific topic this year will be “Response of Religions to the challenges of the globalized world” tackling issues such as collapse of values, suffering of contemporary men and women, and financial crisis and wealth disparity.

Focolare President, Maria “Emmaus” Voce, who succeeded Chiara Lubich, will give a talk on the third day on the suffering from the Christian point of view, on the mystery of Jesus crucified and forsaken, a key point in the spirituality of the Focolare.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Thailand, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, will be present as a guest of honor among other distinguished dignitaries for the Opening Ceremony. Also in attendance will be Rev. Msgr. Andrew Vissanu Thaya-anan, Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue of the Holy See, H.E. Archbishop Francis-Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, Archbishop of Bangkok, and H.E. Msgr. Francis Xavier Vira Arpondratana, Bishop of Chiang Mai. President Nichiko Niwano of Rissho Kosei Kai will deliver his message personally, besides other Ecclesiastical and Civil authorities, who will grace the occasion.

Participants will be mainly from Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, USA, Great Britain and Italy.

There will be, among the Observers, about 30 Buddhist monks doing their Masters Degree at the Mahachulalongkorn University.

Besides its internationality, what characterizes these series of Symposia is its founding spirit – in the spirit of mutual respect and understanding, to seek what unites in order to work for a more united world.

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