WCC TAKES PART IN INTERFAITH DIALOGUE FOR PEACE
- WCC TAKES PART IN INTERFAITH DIALOGUE FOR PEACE
At a high-profile interfaith dialogue for peace in Naples, Italy, earlierthis week, gathered religious and political leaders and intellectuals fromfive continents.
The event which was called "For a world without violence"was organized by the Catholic community of Sant'Egidio and included aeucharistic celebration conducted by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday, 21October.
In a panel discussion held Tuesday morning about "Faiths, war and peace,"Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, WCC general secretary, said he sees "three majorthreats to world peace today," namely: nuclear proliferation accompanied by"intense struggles for resources in an increasingly polarised world and thegradual weakening of the global institutions of mutual accountability"; "theincreasing impact of climate change"; and the threat of deepeninginjustices at all levels".
Kobia also emphasized the positive role religion can play in such a context:"Faith communities are not defined along racial or ethnic lines, or bynational borders, but cut across these divides. We can therefore help tofind new ways to express our faith, to be able to talk to our neighbours ofother faiths, and to forge common visions and goals for the sake of life,"he affirmed.The event echoes a decade-long peace initiative of the WCC, the <http://overcomingviolence.org> Decade to Overcome Violence.This effort to focus churches on the issue of violence and peacemaking ends in 2011 with anInternational Ecumenical Peace Convocation.
Among the personalities attending the Naples event were the chief rabbi ofIsrael Yona Metzger, the founder of the University of the United ArabEmirates Ezzeddin Ibrahim, and the Buddhist monk U. Uttara from Myanmar, aswell as the Italian premier Romano Prodi and the presidents of Tanzania,Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, and Ecuador, Rafael Correa Delgado.
Signs of goodwill among religions and denominations at the Naples meetings included a relic of Saint Andrew being handed over to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It is believed that the larger part of St. Andrew'sremains were taken from Constantinople in the early 13th century and broughtto Amalfi in southern Italy.
A homily given by Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia during the concluding ceremony Tuesday evening will be posted on the <http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=2079> WCC website after delivery.
For more information about the event visit:<http://www.santegidio.org/en/ecumenismo/uer/2007>http://www.santegidio.org/en/ecumenismo/uer/2007
To learn more about the WCC Decade to Overcome Violence visit:<http://overcomingviolence.org> http://overcomingviolence.org