Economic interests have transformed faith into a marketable commodity making it challenging to balance between the need for financial support and preservation of religious values, Justice Minister Anna Koukkides Procopiou said on Friday.

The minister was speaking at the 12th International Symposium on Commercialisation of Religions in the Globalising World held in Nicosia. The event brought together academics and experts from all over the world.

The minister congratulated the organisers of this “very important initiative”, as she explained how the integration of economic interests and commercial elements into religious practices and beliefs has inevitably led to the transformation of faith into a marketable commodity.

Spiritual experiences have lost every element of spirituality and are now treated and confronted like any commercial product on the market, Procopiou noted.

The commercialisation of religions in the Globalising World, she added, is admittedly a complex and controversial phenomenon and its impact on faith and society continues to be a subject of ongoing debate and reflection.

Striking a balance between the need for financial support and the preservation of authentic religious values is a challenge that faith communities must grapple with in the modern era, she stressed.

Concluding, she said it is our duty to ensure that spirituality remains true and that the pursuit of profit doesn’t compromise the core values that make religion a source of hope and guidance for so many.

The symposium, which takes place in the University of Nicosia, is co-organised by the University of Vienna and the University of Nicosia.