His Holiness Abune Paulos passed away at the age of 77 in Addis Ababa. His Holiness worked tirelessly to advance peace through religion. During his tenure as Patriarch, he led multireligious efforts to build peace and reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Norwegian Church Aid, with the cooperation of Religions for Peace, supported the Patriarch and the other religious leaders in Ethiopia and Eritrea in these efforts. We miss him, and send our condolences to all of the members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Religions for Peace condemns the morally reprehensible attack by a lone gunman on the Sikh Temple of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, USA, in which a number of innocent people were killed and wounded on 5 August. We call upon the relevant authorities to advance initiatives to protect citizens, of all faiths, from similar acts in the future. Such initiatives should include legislative, judicial and law enforcement efforts to effectively control the possession of small arms, especially those capable of inflicting multiple causalities, as in the most recent incident.
Statement of the Secretary General on the Arson Attack of the Rida Mosque and the Killing of Imam Abdallah Dadou
The arson attack on the Rida mosque in Brussels on Monday 12 March 2012 has killed Imam Abdallah Dadou. The Imam was also a husband and the father of four children. For all of the members of Religions for Peace, the attack on this mosque which resulted in his death was despicable. Religions for Peace rejects this arson attack as an illegal, violent, ugly and morally offensive act. We call upon the relevant authorities to advance justice in accordance with the law.
Religions for Peace condemns and deplores the terrorist attacks across Nigeria which killed scores of people, with the majority dying on the steps of a Catholic Church after celebrating Christmas Mass.
We—religious leaders from across the Middle East–North Africa (MENA) region—have gathered together in Marrakesh, Morocco, 15-16 November 2011, as partners in advancing the common good in our region. We gather during a time of momentous change. We urge all to eschew violence. In particular, we are concerned that misunderstanding among our communities can all too easily be exploited to provoke intolerance or hostility in the name of religion. We deplore and condemn this misuse of our religions. Our religions are for peace.
Religions for Peace condemns the morally reprehensible bombing in Oslo, Norway. This callous, cowardly and depraved act was designed to kill, injure and terrorize indiscriminately.
Violence against women is wrong. Religions recognize the fundamental dignity of every woman and man. We know—each according to her or his respective religious tradition—that the true dignity of every woman is given by and rooted in the Sacred. This dignity is inviolable. It is not given by cultures, states, societies, communities or individuals. It cannot be taken away by them. But the recognition of this dignity must be “restored” whenever it is violated. It must be actively respected, honored and protected.
We, the European Council of Religious Leaders, meeting in Moscow in June 2011, express our warm thanks and appreciation to the Russian Orthodox Church and to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, for their generous welcome and hospitality. This declaration made at our first meeting in Russia, is in continuity with previous declarations of the European Council of Religious Leaders. It continues our work to further interreligious dialogue and a culture of peace and tolerance in the confident hope that this will deepen and extend the contribution of the religious communities of Europe to the spiritual and material wellbeing of the people of Europe and the world in these times of change and challenge.
Religions for Peace (RfP)—through the lead of its regional body, the African Council of Religious Leaders (ACRL-RfP)—is taking steps to find a way to mediate the current violent conflict in Libya. H.E. Sheikh Shaban Mubaje, the Grand Mufti of Uganda and Co-Moderator of ACRL-RfP, and Dr. Mustafa Ali, the Secretary General of ACRL-RfP recently traveled to Libya for meetings with Libyan stakeholders to discuss a peaceful means to end the current violent impasse, protect citizens and uphold accountability under the rule of law. They also had a helpful meeting with RfP colleague and Co-President H.E. Dr. Mohammad Al-Sharif, the Secretary General of the World Islamic Call Society. You will find the statement of ACRL-RfP by following this link: http://religionsforpeace.org/assets/statement-from-the-religious.pdf Religions for Peace is planning to undertake an additional mission to Libya to continue the dialogue with relevant stakeholders. Let us continue to support the people in Libya. Yours in solidarity, Dr. William F. Vendley
Religions for Peace urgently calls for all combatants in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire to desist from the violent fighting that is placing evermore civilians in extremely grave danger. Killing civilians is wrong. A non-violent, negotiated solution must be found to the current impasse. The Religions for Peace affiliated African Council of Religious Leaders sent a multi-religious delegation in February to meet with the two leaders to seek a peaceful resolution. The delegation included Archbishop John Onaiyaken and a representative of the Nigerian Sultan of Sokoto, Sheikh Rahman Ahmad Abdur. Religions for Peace continues to offer itself to assist in the peaceful resolution of this crisis.