It is an exhibition renewed and enlarged by Scientology and the Fundación Mejora, which was produced by the UNESCO Association for Interreligious Dialogue (AUDIR).
In an expectedly face-to-face event, the spokesperson for the Church of Scientology in Catalonia, Mercedes Gomez, presented the exhibition “Sights in Dialogue [Mirades en Dialeg]” in one of the two places of worship that Scientology has in the city of Barcelona.
In February, institutions around the world celebrate each year the week of Religious Harmony, and it is precisely in this framework that this exhibition was organised. Gómez mentioned Scientology’s participation in the renovation of the exhibition and the creation of new panels from different religions, including Scientology. This exhibition will give more knowledge of the religious diversity in our country. She referred to Mr Hubbard’s words about tolerance being a good cornerstone on which to build human relations.
The exhibition, whose previous version has already been presented in Andorra, Perpignan, Sabadell and Badalona, and in contexts as diverse as hospitals, schools, prisons and parishes, aims to raise awareness of religious diversity in Catalonia, a diversity very similar to that of the whole of Spain and Europe, offering basic knowledge of each tradition and way of thinking and feeling the faith. For this reason, it collected testimonies from members of the communities, accounts of their trajectories and approaches, both unique and shared, of their perspectives on issues related to faith, such as the meaning of life, justice or death.
The aim of the content is unquestionable: to promote empathy and respect; to invite reflection on one’s own beliefs and those of others; and to introduce everyone to the practice of interreligious dialogue, while it is still a little-known reality. AUDIR states on its website that “for all this, mutual knowledge is of the utmost importance, as it is the only way to establish a real dialogue and with it, a better coexistence”.
Among those attending the renewed exhibition were representatives and practitioners of different faiths as well as public administration authorities.
Took place in the premises of Scientology
After a brief introduction to the history of the exhibition and the history of Scientology presented by Mercedes Gomez, she gave way to the first speaker Ivan Arjona-Pelado, President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights, who highlighted the suffering that is affecting all those people in the midst of the Ukraine-Russia conflict and dedicated a prayer by L. Ron Hubbard called “The Prayer for Total Freedom“, which was translated into Catalan for the first time for this event.
The next speaker, Sergio Arevalo, co-director of AUDIR, said that “religions, beliefs diversity, are a wealth so that we can all grow together. This exhibition is an example of this and welcomes diverse convictions, beliefs and religions”. As part of his presentation, Arevalo also thanked Scientology for renewing and recovering this exhibition.
On behalf of the Barcelona City Council, Mr Khalid Ghali, Commissioner for Intercultural Dialogue and Religious Pluralism, said that “Barcelona is a plural city. We are committed to equal rights, equality and non-discrimination, and to getting to know and rediscovering religious communities through dialogue“.
To conclude the event, Ms Gomez gave way to Ms Yvonne Griley, Director General of Religious Affairs of the Catalan government, who thanked “Scientology‘s invitation to this renewed exhibition”. She also told the participants that she was “very moved by the prayer in Catalan and the fact that this text has been chosen as the first Scientology religious writings translated into Catalan“. Griley was also grateful that Scientologists had joined the commitment to cultural diversity through languages.
And in this presentation in which the word PEACE assumed a certain prominence, the Director-General also congratulated AUDIR for the initiative of this exhibition: Mirades en Dialeg – which invites to “look and dialogue, deepening the diversity of beliefs, since this knowledge is the basis of our cohesion and social peace“.