Photo: RfP

Photo: RfP

In a declaration on 23 August, the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace called for caring for our common future and advancing shared well-being. The assembly, held in Lindau, Germany, drew 900 people from 125 countries.

“We are grateful for 49 years of determined focus on building peace and on speaking for those most in need,” reads the declaration. “We are an alliance of care, of compassion, of love.”

Religions for Peace acknowledged with sorrow the ways that religious communities have fallen short. “Our hearts grieve over the misuse of our faiths, especially the ways they have been twisted to fuel violence and hate,” reads the text. “Our alliance honors our religious differences, even as it serves the peace for which the human heart hungers.”

Freedoms of all kinds have come under attack around the world, continues the declaration. “On the economic front, a meager handful of the richest persons have more wealth than four billion persons,” the text reads. “The hour is late: we are called to urgent action.”

Our well-being is intrinsically shared, the declaration states. "Helping the other, we are helped; injuring the other, we wound ourselves," the text reads. “We fully acknowledge the invaluable roles of women and youth among us and will continually mainstream their irreplaceable contributions.”

The declaration notes that we are called to show by example the sacred grounding of freedom. “The cultivation of virtue tackles the ignorance, individual egoism, and group egoism that mutilate authentic community,” reads the text. “The supreme good for us is the sacred, even as we understand it differently.”

The declaration expresses a commitment to preventing violent conflicts. “We commit to integrating efforts for healing into all our conflict resolution work," the text reads. “To renew our commitment to nuclear disarmament, we pledge to be a full partner of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”

Promoting just and harmonious societies is another tenet of the declaration.

“We take heart that multi-religious actors and institutions are working to build just and harmonious societies with a vibrant spirit of care and commitment to justice,” the declaration reads. “We commit to instilling the respect, mutuality, and solidarity that are essential to promote, build, and sustain just, harmonious, and diverse communities.”

Religions for Peace pledged to protect children, vulnerable individuals and communities and advocate for their human rights and well-being in the face of grave suffering.

“We also commit to common efforts within our communities, with civil society partners and governments to ensure principled freedom of religion worldwide,” reads the declaration. “We, persons of faith, yearn to protect holy sites and feel safe within them.”

A commitment to protecting the earth is also outlined. “We will champion personal accountability for sustainable consumption, the dignity of labor, and equitable distribution of wealth,” the declaration states. “We commit to urgent action against the climate crisis.”

"WCC congratulates Dr Azza Karam, new head of Religions for Peace" - WCC news release 21 August 2019

"Religions for Peace assembly convenes in Lindau" - WCC news release 19 August 2019

Learn more about the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace

WCC's work on Promoting just peace

WCC's work on the Pilgrimage of justice and peace

Religions for Peace