Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Relationship Between Democracy, Religion and Freedom

17 Apr, 2017

Saturday, June 3 9 AM –

“With the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other” – a conversation about rights and religious freedom.

In a world characterized by an increasingly secular culture, the Festival aims to show that the cultures and values born from religions may represent the strongest response against extremism and lack of existential sense. The Festival wants to offer an answer to the inability to deal with a real world where the presence of religious men is growing.

In Europe, this inability is generated by an increasing number of people that forms themselves without ever being connected or having deepened the religious culture. Interfaith dialogue does not only involves people who profess a particular faith. It closely affects many aspects of everyday life and, engages believers and non-believers. The practice of dialogue requires the value of freedom of religion. From this point of view we must reflect on the relationship between democracy and religion, from the crisis of two elements that have characterized modernity: the secular state and the perception of faith as exclusively private.

The dialogue does not exclude the dimension of the fight: there are identities, histories and values that must be preserved with “sword in hand” with the desire to return to build a new dimension in relations between believers and non-believers: a more human dimension, which needs to be built with the “trowel in hand.”


  • – Franco Frattini, President of SIOI (Italian Society for International Organization)
  • – Brian Grim, President of the Freedom of Religion and Business Foundation
  • – Card. Jean Louis Tauran, President of The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue