Abrahamic religious leaders' peace efforts in troubled countries

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Twenty-five leaders from the Abrahamic monotheistic religions met in Rome for two days for the Abrahamic Faiths Initiative.

The event was inspired by the Document on Human Fraternity signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in 2019 in an effort for peace and reconciliation.

Executive Imam of All Dulles Area Muslim Society
“We are here today to build on that momentum to build on that message and get it to the next level, to the grassroots levels, to places where there's conflict, there's tension, so that we can change the mind and the hearts of people and have them to believe in the core values of every religion which is about peace, and love, and respect.”

In 48 hours, the religious leaders focused on countries most in danger, discussing how to encourage dialogue and unite religions, especially where it's never been done before.

President, World Union for Progressive Judaism
“In Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, we can help model what that would be like and train people how to do these dialogues. There are places like Sudan that is emerging out of a very repressive age, looking for new ways to offer religious freedom. With tensions between Muslims and Christians and there's a very small Jewish community there, but to finding ways for them to work together as a build in Sudan can be vitally important.”

Worldwide president, Mother's Union (Guyana)
“We have just recently moved 160 women from South Sudan into Uganda for a week for a meeting. These women were from warring tribes. They had not met for 10 years. They were not speaking to each other. And we decided we needed to make an intervention brought these women to lift together and work together for a week. At the end of it, they had laid down their burdens they had forgiven each other.”

The opportunities for women, youth and families to get involved in the peace process are essential to its success. 

Yet, these aren't the first efforts of its kind. Previous documents like Marrakesh declaration within the Muslim world, and the Alliance Virtue Charter have supported the same peace efforts. 

President, World Union for Progressive Judaism
“There have been efforts across the globe. What we're trying to do is to say, we have the powerful textual basis provided by the Human Fraternity document and other documents. It's time for us to think much more strategically and tactically about implementing those values.”

In 45 days, they say they will announce a larger effort and the fruit from this two-day meeting in the Eternal City. It's sure to be a way everyone can actively seek peace no matter which country they are in. 

Melissa Butz

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