MOSCOW, June 23 (Itar-Tass) - The third international conference on Holy Mount Athos will open in Belgrade on Sunday.
The forum has been organized by Serbia’s Friends of Mount Athos society, the Friends of Holy Mount Athos international society as well as the Dialogue of Civilizations world public forum.
“Its aim is to attract the attention of the world community to the unique Mount Athos and to continue discussions on how to preserve the spiritual and cultural individuality of this holy place,” a source at the event’s organizing committee told Itar-Tass.
"The conference will bring together researchers, intellectuals, public and religious figures from Russia, Greece, Italy, Serbia and Germany who will discuss ways of overcoming the stalemate caused by globalization and secularization on the basis of the moral and spiritual resource of the Christian civilization. The history, destiny and role of Christianity in modern Europe on example of Holy Mount Athos will be a traditional topic for discussion,” the organizers said.
The participants in the conference will pay special attention to modern theology and the interrelationship between spiritual and intellectual life. They will also discuss environmental practices of modern Christianity and problems related to the preservation of Mount Athos as an example of preserving Europe’s historical and cultural heritage.
The forum has been meeting since 2011. Its main concept was to organize a permanent discussion club for everybody who is concerned with the future of Mount Athos.
The Orthodox spiritual center on Mount Athos was founded on the Halkidiki Peninsula in 1054. It has been ‘a state inside a state’ since the times of the Byzantine Empire. Only men are allowed to visit Mount Athos on special permission. Women are strictly banned from staying on Mount Athos. This rule applies even to female animals and is linked to plenty of legends.