Sent: Monday, October 02, 2006 2:23 PM
Middle East Religious Leaders in the 8th World Assembly of Religions for
Peace in Kyoto
"Religious communities must play a central role in identifying and
confronting violence in all its forms and manifestations. The world's
religions have experienced abuse by those who seek to misuse religion for
their own purposes. In ongoing violent conflicts around the world, religion
is being used as a justification or excuse for violence. We must reject this
and recommit religions to the way of peace. Today genocide, state-sponsored
repression, terrorism, and other forms of human rights abuse violate
international law, target innocent civilians, and threaten the safety of
many communities. Religious communities and leaders must stand up, speak
out, and take action against the misuse of religion".
With these words in the Kyoto Declaration, religious leaders around the
world expressed their views about "Confronting Violence and Advanced Shared
Security" theme of the Assembly, in Kyoto-Japan, August 25-29, 2006.
Among the over eight hundred senior and grass roots religious leaders
worldwide, gathered to build a global moral consensus on the forms of
violence that they, together, must work to reject, and instead, work on
developing and advancing a positive notion of shared security, about 35,
Christians and Muslims, were from the Middle East countries.
Fifty Presidents were elected to the World Conference of Religions for Peace
(WCRP) for the next 7years. Among them, from the Middle East region, H.B.
Patriarch Michel Sabbah, of the Latin Church in Jerusalem, Dr Muhammad
Al-Sammak, General Secretary of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Committee in
Lebanon, and Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi, Senior Chief Judge of Muslims in
The Assembly also elected H. H. Catholicos Aram I of the Armenian Apostolic
Orthodox Church of Cilicia and H. G. Metropolitan Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim
of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Aleppo, as Honorary Presidents,
Two other assemblies preceded the World Assembly, the Youth and Women
assemblies, in Hiroshima and Kyoto. Mr Razek Siriani director of the MECC
Unit on Education & Renewal represented the MECC in both the Youth Assembly
and the World Assembly. For further information check the website:
Middle East Council of Churches
Office of International Ecumenical Relations P.O. Box 5376, Beirut, Lebanon
Guirgis Ibrahim Saleh, General Secretary mecc@...