• 14 février 2013
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Religions together to call for peace

Vue de Bethléem, 2010

On the occa­sion of the World Day of Peace, the Permanent Mission of the Holy See invi­ted repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of the major reli­gions to pray for peace. The cele­bra­tion took place on January 21st at the World Council of Churches in Geneva. Points-Coeur was invi­ted to attend as a Catholic NGO.

"Year after year, we meet toge­ther to pray for peace which the world so des­pe­ra­tely needs. Year after year, we are faced with the same ques­tion : when will the peace come ?” asked the pastor Albert- Luc de Haller.

The peace that we are wai­ting for would howe­ver be in the inte­rest of all, even mate­rially spea­king. Monsignor Tomasi, Apostolic Nuncio to the UN, cited the astro­no­mi­cal global budget dedi­ca­ted to mili­tary spen­ding in 2011, which rea­ched 1,700 bil­lion, while the fight against hunger and mal­nu­tri­tion recei­ved only 19 bil­lion (90 times less).

Practical bene­fits asid , peace is fore­most the wealth of the soul. The Shalom means com­ple­te­ness, said Dr. Izhak Dayan, Rabbi of Geneva, and hel­ping people to reconcile with one ano­ther is seen in Judaism as one of the vir­tues "which ensu­res a man hap­pi­ness, the inte­rest he recei­ves in this world, and the capi­tal is reser­ved to him in the world to come”

Mr. Tonnerieux, imam of the Cultural Islamic Foundation of Geneva, regret­ted that Islam is some­ti­mes an excuse for vio­lence. He men­tio­ned in par­ti­cu­lar the killing in Toulouse that befell France in 2012. Extremists who indulge in such acts, he said, have in common, a lack of contact with "oulema" (Muslim theo­lo­gians). These, through their inter­pre­ta­tion of texts, must play a cru­cial role as pea­ce­ma­kers. Building peace begins at the indi­vi­dual level. Hence the impor­tance of medi­ta­tion for Dr. Bhante Dhammika, monk in charge of the International Buddhist Centre of Geneva, which edu­ca­tes the mind and puri­fies it of our grea­test enemy, the ego.

"Acquire inner peace and thou­sands will find their sal­va­tion through you", added HE Makarios, Orthodox Bishop of Lampsacus, quo­ting Saint Seraphim of Sarov. The bishop also urged us not to lose hope in the face of all of our world conflicts, because “when Christ appea­red to his dis­ci­ples after his Resurrection, we are told that He did it with "all doors being locked" and that He said to them : "Peace be with you." In spite of all doors and all human hopes being closed, God mani­fests him­self and says to us : "Peace be with you."”

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