World Council of Churches (WCC) representatives are participate at the 16-18 July international interfaith conference convened in Madrid by the Muslim World League following an initiative by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. The WCC is being represented by one of its presidents, Patriarch Abune Paulos, head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and by Metropolitan Emmanuel (Adamakis) of France, from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Also attending the conference will be Lebanese Minister of Culture Dr Tarek Mitri, a former WCC staff and a member of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East, as well as the WCC's Director of Inter-religious dialogue and cooperation, Rev Dr Shanta Premawardhana. Organized by the Muslim World League at the initiative of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the three-day long 'International Conference for Dialogue' is expected to gather some 200 participants representing Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. Islam is the official state religion of Saudi Arabia, while non-Muslim religious services and symbols are banned within the kingdom's territory. Source: WCC
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