Photo: Marcelo Schneider/WCC

Photo: Marcelo Schneider/WCC

The webinar sought to highlight the role of young people in building a better, more peaceful, future beyond this pandemic through advancing interfaith solidarity.

“People of faith are people of love, because all their actions are centered on the divine and they come from a place of love in wanting to change this world and contribute positively,” said Merylene Chitharai, a Hindu from South Africa who serves the Religions for Peace Youth Media Team.

Fernando Sihotang, from the Indonesian National committee of the Lutheran World Federation, emphasised that the COVID-19 pandemic offers “an opportunity for interfaith communities to deeply look for undeniable commonalities between religiously diverse people.”

Kosar Mahmoodi, from Muslim Youth Forum, Finland, focussed on the importance of cross-sector partnerships. “In order to address challenges and crisis, there needs to be more cross-sector partnerships, including seats at the decision-making table for young people and youth organizations.” said Mahmoodi.

In his closing remarks. Dr Mohamed Elsanousi, executive director of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers said, “This collaborative webinar was an inspiring reminder of the imperative actions and topics that we, as a global community, must focus on in order to advance sustainable peace.”

WCC programme coordinator for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation, Rev. Dr Peniel Rajkumar, made a reference to the recent document on Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity, jointly published by the  WCC and the Vatican, which recognised that the idealism and energy of young people can be an antidote to the temptation of cynicism in the endeavour to heal our wounded world. “We saw some glimpses of that idealism and energy today, as our panellists demonstrated what it means to think of religions not as fortresses to be defended, but as wellsprings for the flourishing of all life,” said Rajkumar.