The Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim
in cooperation with

The Pontifical John Paul II University in Cracow,

The Jesuit University Ignatianum in Cracow


Intercultural Dialogue Institute of John Paul II in Cracow

is inviting you to an international conference about

Faith and Nation

14-15 March 2024

32-602 Oświęcim, ul. Kolbego 1, Poland

Questions about the relationship between faith and the nation are important questions not only today. Can faith be related to the nation, or is it only a personal relationship between man and God? Does God call an entire nation or just a single person? What constitutes a nation whose members come from different nations and religions or do not identify with any religion? Does God address individual calls to different nations as He does to each of us? Could such reasoning be the beginning of discrimination or racism? Or maybe faith in God’s call is a source of peace in every situation and context?

Auschwitz is the witness of perverted nationalism. Nazi Germany, guided by an aggressive, racist ideology of national superiority, tried to enslave and eliminate many nations including the Polish and the Jewish. Therefore, it is necessary to take up the challenge and consider the relationship between faith and the nation right here in Oświęcim.

The Christian faith has its roots in the Jewish nation, whose identity was built on a special covenant between God and the nation. Christianity is not exclusive to one nation, but is present in all nations in various dimensions. What is the relationship between a given nation and the Christian religion and what consequences does it have in international relations?

Today there are wars between Russia and Ukraine and between Israel and Palestine. Does faith play any role in these conflicts? If so, how should this role be characterized and explained? How to use the spiritual dimension associated with faith to find paths of peace?

During the conference we will look for answers to these and similar questions.


Thursday 14.03.2024

 – Arrival until 14:00 – 

  • 15:00 A Word of Welcome – Fr. Dariusz Chrostowski, Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim
  • 15:15 Introduction: Faith at the Edge of Auschwitz Fr. Manfred Deselaers, Ph.D., Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim 
  • 16:00 Faith and Nation in IsraelRabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D Hebrew Union College Jerusalem, IL
  • 17:00 Coffee break
  • 17:30  Faith and Nation in PolandFr. Prof. Damian Wąsek, Pontifical University of  John Paul II in Cracow, PL
  • 18:30 Supper
  • 19:30 Faith and Nation in RussiaSergej Chapnin,Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University, (currently USA, via Zoom), RU
  • 21:00 Summing up and reflection

Friday 15.03.2024

  • 08:00 Hl. Mass
  • 08:30 Breakfast 
  • 10:00 Meditation and Prayer in Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • 13:00 Lunch
  • 15:00 Faith and Nation in GermanyRev. Wolfgang Hüllstrung, Ph.D, Protestant Church in the Rhineland, DE
  • 16:00 Coffee break
  • 16:30   Faith and Nation in UkraineMyroslav Marynovych, Ukraine Catholic University, UA
  • 17:30 Faith and Nations in the Global Church – Ks. Bernard M. Ibarra, Instituto del Verbo Encarnado, ARG
  • 18:30 Supper
  • 20:00 Panel of lecturers
  • 21:00 Summing up and reflection

Saturday 16.03.2024

  • 08:00 Hl. Mass
  • 08:30 Breakfast 

 – End of Conference – 


Sergei Chapnin, RU, currently serves as the Director of Communications at the Orthodox Christian Studies Center, Fordham University, USA. From 2001 to 2015, he held significant editorial roles within the Russian Orthodox Church, serving as the Executive Editor of its official publications, including The Church Herald Newspaper and the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate. Additionally, Chapnin served as the Deputy Chief Editor at the Moscow Patriarchate Publishing House. In February 2022, prior to the outbreak of full-scale war in Ukraine, he relocated from Russia. Co-author of the Open Letter War in Ukraine and the Russian Church.

Fr. Manfred Deselaers, Ph.D., DE, Pastor abroad of the German Bishops’ Conference at the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim, Poland.

Reverend Wolfgang Hüllstrung, DE, Department of Theology and Continuing Education of the Protestant Church in the Rhineland (Düsseldorf), responsible for Christian- Jewish relations and dialogue in the Rhineland.

Bernardo María Ibarra, ARG, is an Argentinean priest of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE), a missionary congregation founded in 1984. Bernardo was born in 1992 in Buenos Aires, the 9th of 12 children, and entered the IVE at the age of 14. After completing his humanistic studies at the, he spent a year in novitiate formation in Chile. Upon returning to Argentina to complete his studies at the Major Seminary of his Congregation, he was sent to the Philippines to finish his studies in philosophy and theology. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2018 and worked for two years in the formation house of his congregation in the Philippines. Then his superiors asked him to move to Krakow to study Family Sciences at the Pontifical University. He has assisted in many different missions of the Institute of the Incarnate Word throughout the world, in the Pacific, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. He currently resides at the John Paul II Center in Krakow, where he exercises his pastoral ministry.

Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D IL, Associate professor of Jewish theology at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem, and a member of the board of Rabbis for Human Rights.

Myroslav Marynovych, UA, President of the Institute of Religion and Society of the Ukrainian Catholic University. Since 2000 until 2024, vice-rector for university mission. Honorary president of the Ukrainian Centre of PEN International. In 1976 he became a founding member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group. In 1977, on the charge of “Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda” he was convicted and spent seven years of severe security camps and three years in exile in Kazakhstan.

Fr. Prof. Damian Wąsek, PL, Associate Professor of fundamental theology, lecturer at the Institute of Fundamental Theology, Ecumenism and Dialogue at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow.

Participation in the conference is free of charge.

Costs of stay during the conference at CDiM:

  • 2 nights with meals PLN 300,00
  • 1 night with meals PLN 150,00

Please send your application by e-mail:, or by phone: +48 338431000 by March 8 th, 2024.

Centrum Dialogu i Modlitwy w Oświęcimiu
PL 32-602 Oświęcim, ul. M. Kolbego 1

It is possible to participate in the conference via Zoom.
All lectures from the conference will be available on YouTube at a later data.