Self Introduction No.33 : Elena Valcheva
Please introduce yourself !
My name is Elena Valcheva, a 21-years old Bulgarian student. As most of the young people in the world, I crave the combination of travelling and enhancing my knowledge, gaining new experience and meeting people from all over the planet – that is exactly the reason for applying to ISC64. Currently I am a student and my major is “Hebrew Studies”, a specialty which opened my eyes for the religions and their specificities. I have a constant growing interest in that delicate field and especially, how people nowadays accept and use the religion.
The truth is we are living in dangerous era and still there are people who prefer to close their eyes for the reality. Once religion was the mechanism for unity, now it is an armed person, a manipulation, a threat. As a future journalist my goal in attending ISC64 is to be as informed as possible in order to spread the correct information in the mass media. I still think that the words are the strongest weapon and that they can stop even the bullet. Firstly, we need to learn the fact that religious terrorism and violence is something real, no matter where it is happening, secondly – if we are not going to prevent it somehow, soon there is not going to be secure place under the Sun.
What do you think about your table topic?
My table topic is “The Rise of Religious Violence”, which in my opinion is something not only growing day by day but also fed by the people and becoming the problem of our century. Religious violence is every act against the natural human rights in the name of a religion, ideology or just the religion used as an excuse for the exact act. Most of the times the act is against the moderation of the religion, against the westernization of it and taking the religion itself far from the roots and the basis. This is quite familiar nowadays – most of the radical organizations are keeping this ideology – either that the Western influence is having a big role in people’s life, either that it is not enough only to be secular, but the meaning is to be highly devout. But still, does the religion preach to violence? Is it written in the Quran, the Torah or the Holy Bible that the human life is something only by simple decision to be so easily taken?
The truth is hiding in the false interpretation of the Holy lines.
Religion is the thing, which combines thousands of people under one denominator and the reason it so connected with the violence is because of the ability to affect masses easily. The radical Islamists, spreading the Quran with the same speed as firing bullets, probably even have never read the Holy book, otherwise they would know that it is forbidden, it is written there, not to kill the Holy people – including Christians and Jews.
What about the ultra-orthodox Jews and their behavior with the, even, secular Jews knowing and following the Torah? Does the violence promise place in the World to come?
And the Christianity – the Crusades, the Ku Klux Klan, the God’s Warriors – is also a violent mass movement?
Every religion can be transformed in a radical ideology, ‘promising’ to its followers a better life now and after, but what is the price one should pay?
So my opinion is that is easier for people to accept the term “religious violence” instead of knowing that behind the religious part are hiding people with goals not “in the name of God”.
I love the topic of my table, not only because of my interest in the three Abrahamic religions, but also because of my desire to learn and know more about, for an example, Sikhism and Buddhism.
Together with my partner Towa we are doing a research about the Aum Shinrikyo and the planned sarin attack in the Tokyo subway. I am thankful for the opportunity to spend time with people, who are going to share their knowledge with me and hopefully, my words are going to be useful for them as well.
The topic of Table 5 gives us the freedom of having a lot of questions and we, the members, will try our best to find the correct answers, because the future is in our hands and we should raise them in the name of one better world.