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Religion in the Buffer Zone

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ORF – Orientierung March 1, 2020 – 7 minutes

Turkish Cypriot imams enter an orthodox monastery in the Republic of Cyprus for the first time. Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud is the initiator of an interfaith dialogue that aims to overhaul the almost fifty-year political division of the Mediterranean island on a religious level entitled the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process. ORF Orientation accompanies a group of dignitaries and officials from different religions in Cyprus. Priests and imams have been learning Greek and Turkish for some time. They have made an approach, both politically and spiritually, that could be exemplary for the political level.

Cyprus has been divided for almost 50 years. Turkey is provoking illegal gas drilling off the Cypriot coast. The peace talks are stagnating. But behind the scenes, people and their religious representatives have come closer again. Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud is a Cypriot with Armenian roots. Her grandparents fled Turkey before the genocide. She knows from experience that suffering caused by war and conflict is a collective experience that can be alleviated through dialogue. Religion plays a key role in this, not to forget but to forgive.

Thomas Büsch Since 2001 he has been producing TV-programs and documentaries in partnership with Sabine Küper-Büsch.