Europe talks with faiths it once thought would fade
By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor – Tue Dec 29, 6:28 am EThttp://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091229/lf_ ... e_religion
PARIS (Reuters Life!) – Europe, the most secularized region on Earth, has decided to launch a regular dialogue with the organized religions that many on the continent once thought would wither away.
In a little-noticed article of its Lisbon Treaty, which went into effect on December 1, the European Union agreed to hold an "open, transparent and regular dialogue" with churches, religious associations and secular groups.
BEFORE AND AFTER 9/11
The change stems from a specific date -- Sept 11, 2001 -- but it took a while before Europe grasped that those attacks in New York and Washington shattered a widespread belief that faith was a private matter due to wither away in modern societies.
Many countries discovered that Islam was now, in numerical terms, their second religion. Deadly bombings in Madrid and London, the killing of a Dutch filmmaker and unrest among Muslim youths in France raised concern about Islamist violence.
At the same time, ....