A new joint project of the religious leaders of Cyprus to provide an opportunity for members of the clerical order and laypersons to meet each other and learn Greek and Turkish for the very first time in Cyprus is being launched on 5 October 2017 by the Office of RTCYPP at the Home for Cooperation in the Buffer Zone in Nicosia.
The introductory language course will be offered for a total of 20 priests, imams, nuns and laypersons working for faith based institutions in Cyprus whose names were submitted by the respective religious leaders of Cyprus from the Greek Orthodox, Muslim, Armenian Orthodox, Maronite and Latin Catholic faith communities
The Greek and Turkish classes will take place simultaneously on a weekly basis followed by a joint time, hosted and facilitated by the Office of RTCYPP, where the participants will get the chance to know each other and practice what they learn.
“Learning and speaking the language of the other respective community is a concrete pre-requisite to bridge-building in a divided country.” said Ambassador Anna Olsson Vrang of Sweden. “We are pleased that with the help of our moral and financial support, the Office of RTCYPP under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden could take such an important concrete step despite the current state of affairs in the peace talks in Cyprus.”
“The religious leaders of Cyprus agree that learning to communicate in each others mother tongue is of utmost importance in the search for coexistence and peace in a decades long divided island and fully support this new exciting initiative of the RTCYPP“ said Salpy Eskidjian, Executive Coordinator of the RTCYPP. “We hope that with the blessings and consent of the religious leaders, the language course will also help broaden the circle and widen our efforts involving more priests, imams, nuns as well as lay women and men active in religious institutions or faith communities who believe in dialogue, cooperation and coexistence.”
The pilot project is initiated, organized and funded by the Office of RTCYPP following the full support and endorsement of the religious leaders of Cyprus. Ambassador Olsson Vrang will be opening the Language Course and welcome the participants. Office of RTCYPP initiates and supports joint initiatives such as this, aimed at encouraging the positive joint contributions of all the religious leaders of Cyprus to confidence and peace building.