Sant' Egidio

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Catholic community, founded in Rome, in 1968, by Andrea Riccardi, professor of religious history, for the purpose of educating young people about the situation of disinherited populations. Financed by subscription, and voluntary contributions, and with the support of the Vatican, this community developed a program of charitable activity in the world's most impoverished countries. In the Middle East Sant' Egidio was particularly concerned by the plight of the Palestinian refugees, and by the victims of repressive operations of the Israeli army. Becoming significant figures in humanitarian action, its leaders also launched into what they call "free lance diplomacy," participating in the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Therefore, in 1992, the Mozambique peace accords were concluded at the headquarters of the association, where, in January, 1995, the first encounter between all the parties in the Algerian dispute took place. On 3 September, 2001, the movement organized an encounter at Barcelona to discuss world peace, in which religious dignitaries of all confessions participated.