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“Paths of Peace” assembly draws speakers from across the globe

“Paths of Peace” assembly draws speakers from across the globe

“Paths of Peace,” an international interreligious meeting of dialogue and prayer for peace in Münster and Osnabrück, Germany. Photo: Santegidio.org

11 September 2017

In a presentation on 11 September, World Council of Churches president for Europe and Archbishop emeritus Dr Anders Wejryd reflected on the times when churches have been able to make a difference by getting people to actually change politics and priorities.

Exploring the role of Christians in peacemaking, Wejryd was among many speakers at “Paths of Peace,” an international interreligious meeting of dialogue and prayer for peace held in the German cities of Münster and Osnabrück.

The gathering, hosted this week by the Community of Sant’Egidio, explored topics such as eco-justice, terrorism, prayer, healing, children’s rights, and migration, among others. Speakers included the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb; Rev. Dr Chris Ferguson, general secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches; and Angela Merkel, chancellor of the German Federal Republic.

Wejryd reflected on “many excellent initiatives” taken by churches and individual Christians over the years that have aroused enthusiasm and often made a real difference. “Churches have been able to point out injustices and the potential power of these to threaten peace,” he said. “Churches have been able to make a difference by getting people to actually change politics and priorities.”

But Christian efforts for peace always have been far more effective as prevention than as remedy, he added. “When the power game has started it seems it has normally been stopped only by power and exhaustion,” he said. “It is when we, as Christians together, can keep things together and can stand for similar things locally, nationally and internationally, that we can make a difference.”

Full text by World Council of Churches president for Europe and Archbishop emeritus Dr Anders Wejryd

International interreligious meeting “Paths of Peace”