Vernissage of an exhibition of photographs “THEY HAVE MET FOR GOD”
The exhibition documents important moments from 15 international ecumenical concerts of the NAPS Institute.
On Tuesday, May 10, 2022, a vernissage of photographs representing foreign and domestic personalities of religious and civil life took place in the reconstructed Šaštín Synagogue, a national cultural monument. The exhibited portraits, made mainly by Oles Cheresko and Viktor Ďuraš, capture mainly the representatives of the five largest Christian churches in our country – the Roman Catholic, Evangelical of Augsburg Confession, Greek Catholic, Reformed and Orthodox, as well as the Jewish religious community. The personalities shown come not only from Slovakia, but also from the Czech Republic, Israel, Hungary, Austria, the United States, Syria, Ukraine and the Vatican.
Several personalities spoke at the opening with a greeting. „The first Slovak EU commissioner, Ján Figeľ, emphasized the importance of religion in the world. Honorary Chairman of the Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities, prof. Pavel Traubner, in the context of the Holocaust, drew attention to the impending evil of hatred and intolerance in today's world and expressed his joy that he can support the ecumenical efforts of the NAPS Institute since its establishment in 2004. The topicality and importance of NAPS ecumenical activities was emphasized also by Episcopal Vicar of the Ordinariate of Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, priest Peter Nižník,“ said Peter Solej (35), the founder and director of the NAPS Institute, to the media.
„We are very grateful that we were able to organize this exhibition, which is the first ecumenical event in the historic Šaštín synagogue, together with local activists and the financial support of the National Bank of Slovakia. I would like to thank the diplomat and photographer Pavel Demeš for accepting the curation of this exhibition and Mrs. Alenka Heribanová for moderating the entire event,“ added Solej. The founder of NAPS and his wife Lenka thanked the curator and moderator during the event and dedicated the papal rosaries, which were personally donated to them by the Holy Father Francis during one of their six personal meetings so far.
The opening of the photographs, which featured Christian and Jewish songs by the multi-genre singer Jana Orlická in Hebrew, Arabic and Aramaic, culminated in a reverent memory of the victims of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. While everyone present lit sacrificial candles, the Ukrainian song "Mother of God Walked Through the Fields of Ukraine" sounded through the Šaštín synagogue, performed by the talented Ukrainian tenor Vasyl Alekseyev. The opening was also attended by members of the International Women's Club, including the wives of several ambassadors operating in Slovakia.