From a blurb on YouTube about the World Public Forum:
The World Public Forum (WPF) “Dialogue of Civilizations” is a deliberative-consultative body that unites into a single network various international and national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), representatives of public and state institutions, civil society organizations and faith-based groups, academics, representatives of cultural, spiritual, business, and media spheres from different countries, members of diverse civilizations and cultural traditions, and individuals who share the principles of openness mutual respect which form the basis of the contemporary dialogue of civilizations.
The video focuses in particular on “Founding President” Vladimir Yakunin, who heads Russia’s railways and who is close confidant of Vladimir Putin; Yakunin has a particular interest in religious matters, and he recently arranged for a relic of the Mother of God, usually kept on Mount Athos, to tour Russia.
However, 52 seconds in we catch a glimpse of another man – although not named, this is Nicholas Papanicolaou, who co-founded the WPF with Yakunin. Papanicolaou is a US-based businessman, and he has links with neo-Pentecostal players in the Christian Right: in particular, he is a Board Member of Rick Joyner’s Oak Initiative organisation.
Recently, Joyner spoke about his own experience of attending the World Public Forum. Here’s the video, via RightWingWatch:
And a transcript:
I had an experience a few years ago when I was asked to be a delegate at the World Public Forum on Civilizations and Religions and it had the top Mullahs and Imams from every Islamic country … and I spent all the time I could trying to understand … and I wanted to hear their perspective; why did they hate America so much?
They had no clue that there was such a thing as Christians in America that didn’t like pornography. They saw what was coming out of Hollywood as American Christianity … And I did apologize – I understand our Republican candidates all saying “I’ll never apologize for America,” well, I did apologize for America and I won’t apologize for doing that!
I apologized for the filth and perversion coming out of Hollywood that I believe is spiritually and morally polluting multitudes all over the earth. This is one of the main reasons why Islam hates us so bad. They say “you put ‘In God We Trust’ on your money; look at this filth and perversion you’re sending all over the world.”
Nice to see “the principles of openness mutual respect which form the basis of the contemporary dialogue of civilizations” in action.
I’ve written about the WPF a number of times, most recently here.
Papanicolaou is also “Grand Master” of a chivalric order, called the “Order of Saint John – the Ecumenical Order”; Joyner is described as a “Deputy Member of the Supreme Council”, while the “Grand Chancellor” is none other than Gen “Jerry” Boykin. Last year, around the same time as the Rhodes conference, Papanicolaou and Boykin inducted Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff into the group as a “Dame”.
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