Role of Religious Communities in Management of Objects of World Heritage

The participants of an international seminar “The Role of Religious Communities in Managing the Objects of World Heritage,” held on November 2-5 in Kyiv under the auspices of UNESCO, published a resolution summarizing the work of the seminar. The main aim of the event was to study ways of establishing a dialogue between all interested parties as well as possible ways of encouraging and establishing mutual understanding and cooperation between interested parties in the protection of religious objects of the world heritage.

As the result of the discussion, it was decided that interested parties will include religious communities, which can consist of believers and local residents, bodies of goverment of the member states, specialists, experts, owners of the objects, charitable organizations, and other interested partners.  

The participants of the seminar marked the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, which has become a valuable tool for exchanging experiences and dialogues between cultures and is aimed to foster respect for the confession of each person

According to Orthodoxy.org.ua, the participants confirmed the vital role of religious communities in the transfer, expression, and support of the spiritual identity, sense, and purpose of life, which offer great possibilities in the world that is being developed and globalized rapidly and is faced with serious problems. The participants of the event also noticed the role of religious communities in the establishment, support, and continuous formation of holy places and the role in maintaining the existing heritage.  

The resolution mentions another important aspect – the joint management of objects of religious heritage by all interested parties. “Mutual recognition and respect will bring additional prospects for common cultural and spiritual values,” reads the document.

“The character of the religious heritage calls for dialogue and mutual understanding between religious communities and all the other interested parties. They should work together to preserve the significance of the mixed and natural cultural objects associated with religious ones,” stresses the resolution.

According to the participants of the event, this question is especially vital for defining the complex strategy of developing a thematic program about religious objects of world heritage. “This program must draw up an action plan for the protection of religious heritage in the whole world for the purpose of strengthening the role of communities and avoiding misunderstandings, tension, and stereotypes,” reads the document.

“Preservation of the religious heritage, which is of an extraordinary value for future generations, requires new forms of activity. The Kyiv seminar initiated a new process that will be continued and a possibility to establish a platform for a dialogue and an exchange of knowledge between all communities concerned with the preservation of our common heritage,” reads the resolution.


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