Faith leaders have urged governments and their leaders to end violence and work towards greater understanding between religions.
At an interfaith event in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Pope Francis and the leaders of major religions called for an end to warfare and bloodshed.
The Pope warned of the “baneful domino effect” that modern wars have on the delicate world order.
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3: 14-17
The Document on Human Fraternity, signed by Pope Francis and Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, during the pontiff’s visit to Abu Dhabi in 2019, was held up as an example of “great historical significance” by Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the start of the two-day conference.
The final communique on Thursday recognised its “importance and value” in calling for “peace, dialogue, mutual understanding and mutual respect among believers for the common good.”
In a speech, the Pope again warned that religion is all too often hijacked for personal or ideological gain.
“After the events of 11 September 2001, it was necessary to respond collectively to the incendiary atmosphere that terrorist violence sought to incite, and which threatened to turn religion into a grounds for conflict,” he said, according to an official Vatican News report.
“Pseudo-religious terrorism, extremism, radicalism and nationalism, dressed up in religious garb, nonetheless continue to foment fears and concerns about religion. In these days, then, it proved providential that we could come together once more, in order to reaffirm the authentic and inalienable essence of religion.”
He added: “In our day, every military conflict or hotspot of tension and confrontation will necessarily have a baneful ‘domino effect’ and seriously compromise the system of international relations.”
The Grand Imam described the world as a “sick patient in desperate need of treatment”.
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