KAICIID Dialogue Centre
|Founder||Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Austria and Kingdom of Spain|
|Type||Intergovernmental Organization, International UN-recognised Organization|
|Focus||Peacebuilding, social cohesion, interfaith and cultural dialogue, justice, human rights, reconciliation, human dignity, religious education|
|Method||Convener, dialogue forum, acting as a knowledge hub, empowering other organisations already working in the field of dialogue, partnership, information exchange|
|King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia|
Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muaammar: Secretary-General
|50, when fully staffed, in Vienna|
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, globally known by its abbreviation, KAICIID, is an inter-governmental organization that promotes inter-religious dialogue to prevent and resolve conflict. KAICIID was opened in 2012 by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Austria and the Kingdom of Spain, following the initiative of King Abdullah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Holy See is a founding observer. KAICIID has attracted controversy over concern with Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and restrictive domestic religious environment.
Mission and objectives
The international organization, KAICIID, is headquartered in Vienna, Austria, focusing on facilitating intercultural and interreligious dialogue. Its mission is to promote peace, tolerance and understanding among people of different faiths and cultures. KAICIID's work includes using dialogue to support peacebuilding and social cohesion efforts in conflict areas.
Crucially, KAICIID seeks to promote human rights, justice, peace and reconciliation, as well as curb the abuse of religion as a means to justify oppression, violence and conflict. It promotes the preservation and sacredness of holy sites, as well as respect for religious symbols, and focuses on issues pertaining to the dignity of human life and religious education.
Recalling that the founding document of KAICIID cites principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially, "the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion" - with emphasis on "human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion."
On 13 October 2011 the agreement for the establishment of KAICIID in Vienna was signed by the governments of Austria, Spain and Saudi Arabia. The center was inaugurated on 27 November 2012 in Vienna, in a ceremony attended by representatives of the world's major religions. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke at the inauguration and welcomed the initiative. However, the inauguration-ceremony was protested by the Austrian Green Party, as well as a variety of Austrian NGOs concerned with Saudi Arabia’s poor human-rights record and fears that the KAICIID would in fact be misused by founding member and chief financier Saudi Arabia as a bridge-head for spreading Wahhabism in Europe.
The Vatican defended the organization as an international initiative, said that "the variety and pluralism of today’s world call for a multiplication of both chances for and vectors of development of the active and proactive role of the Church", and promised "to bring to light her concerns for the effective respect of the fundamental rights of Christians who live in countries with a Muslim majority, in order to promote authentic and integral religious liberty."
KAICIID's projects focus on facilitating intercultural and interreligious dialogue.
In November 2014, KAICIID hosted a conference in Vienna of Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious leaders from across the Middle East and around the world to join together in respect for tolerance and diversity, denouncing violence in the name of religion.
The KAICIID Fellows Programme is a one-year training and capacity building program for religious scholars and teachers. The program trains them in dialogue, mediation and peacebuilding, so they can pass along these skills on to their students.
The KAICIID Peace Map shows the range of interreligious activities by international organisations across the world in a central online location.
Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain form the Council of Parties, which oversees the work of the Centre. The Holy See is the Founding Observer. The Board of Directors includes representatives from five world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The Board members are:
- Swami Agnivesh
- Hamad Al-Majed
- Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot
- Emmanuel Adamakis
- Mark Poulson
- Ata'ollah Mohajerani
- Kosho Niwano
- David Rosen
- Mohammad Sammak
- "King Abdullah interfaith dialogue center opens in Vienna". Arab News. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Saudi intercultural centre to be opened in Vienna". Al Shorfa. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Secretary-General discusses regional developments with King of Saudi Arabia". United Nations News. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Kingdom calls for trust, dialogue". Arab News. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Governance | KAICIID
- "Saudi King's Religious Tolerance Center Faces Fresh Scrutiny". CNS News. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- "KAICIID, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Cooperation to Promote Social Cohesion in Arab Region". UNDP. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- "Saudi King Abdullah's Interfaith Center in Vienna to Unify the World's Religions?". The Christian Post. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Saudi-Backed Religious Tolerance Center Founded". Fox News. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Speech of Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger in the King Abdullah Center". Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Spindelegger: "Great opportunity for interreligious dialogue"". Austrian Foreign Ministry. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Jahn, George (13 October 2011). "Saudi-backed religious tolerance center opens". Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "U.N. chief says crises show need for interfaith amity". Reuters. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- Abdullah-Zentrum: Anzeige und Proteste zur Eröffnung (in German) Die Presse 26 November 2012
- "Dichiarazione del Direttore della Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, P. Federico Lombardi, S.I., sull'Inaugurazione del KAICIID a Vienna (26 NOVEMBRE 2012), 23.11.2012" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "Muslim, Christian, Jewish Leaders Unite to Condemn Jihadi Violence". Voice of America. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- "KAICIID International Fellows Programme focus on interreligious dialogue". Global Notes. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- "KAICIID Peace Map: Visualizing global peace activities with data collected by-hand". Data Driven Journalism. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- Governance | KAICIID
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