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Rome Reports

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The role of women in peace building: Jewish, Christian and Muslim perspectives

Sarah BernsteinIsrael Interfaith Commission (Israel)“The media doesn?t often report about the grassroots peace building efforts that go on, on the ground. But there are many such efforts in Jerusalem, Israel, Palestine, between Israelis and Palestinians, between Jews, Christians and Muslims.”Precisely to highlight that inter-religious dialogue, each speaker is of a different religion. Whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, they all said progress has been made when it comes to peace building, but deep challenges still remain. Sarah BernsteinIsrael Interfaith Commission (Israel) “The different religious communities live very separate lives and very rarely meet each other, which is why I believe dialogue is essential because it is only if we can listen to each other, it is only if we can recognize the common humanity of all religious and ethnic groups.”Ruth Patterson said the change must come from within, meaning those who lived through the conflict or were directly affected by it must be the ones who open the door to post conflict resolution, not those who look at the situation from the outside. Rev. Ruth PattersonPresbyterian Minister (Belfast, Northern Ireland)“We need to tap into the power that there is in forgiveness. Not forgetting, which people can?t do because of their wounds, but a type of redemptive remembering. Where they come to the point where they choose to maybe let go of that hurt and move forward.”On a logistical level, governments must also recognize the past and acknowledge its true history. Aida Abadzic HodzicUniversity of Sarajevo (Bosnia Herzegovina)“You have to create first, the just economic and political context that the real inter-religious context starts, let us be honest. Because we always take on step further and two back because we lack this political context.”The event marked the 25th anniversary of Rome?s Lay Center at Foyers Unitas. Event though ; international peace building isn?t simple, speakers stressed that it?s not impossible. KLHAM--PR