From his home base in ƒIndia, founding member of the International Association for Religion Journalists (IARJ) Bhavya Srivastava has traveled to Vienna to cover the second meeting of the KAICIID Center’s global Advisory Forum, which draws together 40 diverse religious leaders from around the world.

Bhavya Srivastava at KAICIID conference
Bhavya Srivastava

Being a religion journalist, I love this type of gathering, said Bhavia, describing the optimism of the participants he found while covering this event. Attending a meeting full of ideal hopes and positivity radiating from every face is not common these days. But when you join a table or conference full of interfaith leaders, they talk hope and harmony in every statement.

This advisory forum, which met in Vienna February 6-7, 2017, successfully gathered a diverse array of participants from many different faith traditions and parts of the world. That diversity extended to their many responses to the top issue that emerged at the gathering: immigration and refugees. Headlines around the world are heralding the dramatic changes in responses to immigration by governments, including in the U.S. and Europe. Participants at the Vienna conference made conflict resolution through dialogue a prime, cooperative goal, Bhavya said.

The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) held its second annual meeting of the Board of Directors’ Advisory Forum at KAICIID headquarters in Vienna. The primary aim, according to the official website of KAICIID, was to see the Advisory Forum members establishing a structure for the Forum and establish their procedures for their future work in advising KAICIID’s Board of Directors.

The Advisory Forum is a consultative body that includes influential leaders from major world religions and religious and cultural institutions and communities representing, and also leading figures from the religious, non-governmental and intergovernmental fields, coming from more than 20 countries across the globe. The main role of the Forum is to support the activities of the KAICIID Board of Directors and advises on their programs and on ground activities.

Bhavya Srivastava at the Kumbh Fair

Bhavya earlier wrote about the journalistic challenges of covering the vast Khumbh festivals in India, and he is an active member in the IARJ.