Yet, every development of human society is founded on such a basis. So preserving our essential humanity involves cultivating a sincere responsibility for our fellow human beings.
Today, our interdependent world requires us to accept the oneness of humanity. We forget that despite the superficial differences within us, people are same in their basic wish for peace and happiness. Conflict in the name of religion occurs when people fail to grasp true intent of their respective faith. For some time I have felt that there are measures that we can adopt to help us nurture understanding and harmony among our different religious traditions, and thus promote peace and security in society.
We should convene regular inter-faith meetings among leaders of different religious traditions so that we can share their spiritual experiences and insights. We should also promote meetings of scholars to discuss and study what they have in common rather than what is different among various religious traditions.
This, in turn, will help promote harmony in society. I believe that meetings of this sort have a powerful symbolic effect. The symbolic effect of the leaders of many religions coming together and speaking from a shared platform sets a strong example to the millions of religious followers all over the world.
It signals our need to reach out to each other and work for the common human goal of peace and happiness. On this auspicious occasion I offer my greetings to everyone attending and participating in this event and I pray that fruits of your exchanges will be far-reaching and long lasting.
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Sheikh Tarif is a descendant of the Tarif family which has been leading the Druze Community in Israel since Praise be to Allah and peace be upon all the Prophets and Messengers. It is a great honour to stand in front of you on behalf of myself and on behalf of the people of the Unitarian Druze Community in Israel; a sect which has strong relations and close ties with all sects and religions in the Holy Land, which is a peace-loving land, the supporter of peace, the Promised Land, the cradle of faith and the home and place of the spiritual journey of all the Prophets.
All these heavenly religions agree on the Unity of God the Almighty as everyone is created equally, despite the differences in colour, gender, religion and belief. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. How strange is it that some people differentiate between human beings and his fellow brothers while God has created man in His own image and exalted him far above all other creatures, and sent prophets and messengers to invite people to worship Him and prevent them from fighting each other; as He forbade killing and the differentiation between human beings and to judge them according to his religion or belief, as everyone who believes in God is a brother to his fellow brother, who believes in the same God.
My brothers, some wonder whether the Lord of the heavens and earth, the Creator of the universe, exists or not and what the signs are of His presence and existence. Allah the Almighty sent His Prophets and Messengers to unite people and to enable them live according to His commandments, after creating the universe out of nothing. Every sensible human being should clearly conclude that a Supreme Engineer is behind its design, as each physical body consists of a head without which nothing functions and operates, whether the body belongs to a human or to an animal.
As the physical head is the summit of everything so it is the Supreme Being, who is called Al-Bari , who is the summit of this universe. This wisdom was needed to establish harmony among all people.
It was a positive factor to establish freedom of religion and belief, and a motivation for tolerance and love between human beings and his fellow brother, and between servants and God, the Lord of all worlds. All the heavenly messages are based on sacredness, nobility and purification; all those who believe in God believe in brotherhood of nations, justice and pure faith in God.
The pure objective of all religions is reformation, creation of peace, love and understanding and all the ways and methods in implementing it. Unfortunately, we observe that some people attempt to misinterpret and misquote anything related to religion, which transforms a merciful religion into a merciless religion of intolerance. They will forbid what is allowed and allow what is forbidden. Every religion urges goodness, harmony, tolerance, love and brotherhood, and does not differentiate between the believer and his fellow brother and calls for a mutual respect, regardless of differences in belief or opinion.
This community which we respect and we are so proud of; we have strong ties with its members and Amir in the Holy Land, it is an honour for us to participate in your celebrations and it will be an honour for us as well if you will share with us our different celebrations and occasions. Dear brothers, let us all, with the help of Allah and by following the commandments of all prophets and messengers of all religions, join our hands in denouncing violence, aggression and evil acts in all forms and shapes, and let us do our best to bring hearts together and to sow the seed of love to promote just and comprehensive peace, not only in the East but all over the world.
The Earth is vast and spacious; and there is a place and abode for everyone. Let us all, as religious and political leaders and as believers, hold fast to the rope of Allah to establish love, brotherhood, harmony and peace among people, in order to develop unity and to create a society which is like one family.
Finally, I extend on behalf of the Unitarian Druze Community, our warmest congratulations to our brothers—members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community— with regard to this special and honourable event wishing you the best, and to all participants in this conference wishing that God would help and guide us to the ways of good and to the right path, and lead us to the best ways of taking care of the followers of our religions and sects.
The matter will ultimately lead to the best of the world. The Catholic Church has more than 1 billion followers around the world. Catholicism is one of the oldest religious institutions in the Western world. The Catholic Church varies from other Christian denominations based primarily upon its structure. Archbishop Kevin McDonald was ordained as a priest in and his first appointment was to All Saints, Stourbridge, in Worcestershire.
He worked as an official at the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity in Rome, where he had special responsibility for Anglican and Methodist relations. This is mostly a Muslim area and it was here that he developed his interest in inter-religious dialogue. He was ordained as the Bishop of Northampton May and went on to serve as the Archbishop of Southwark from It is a sign of the times that a gathering of this kind should take place, and it is a reason to be grateful for the times in which we live. The heart and the centre of Christian faith is, of course, the person of Jesus Christ.
One of the most vital tasks of the first followers of Christ — the people who began to celebrate Easter, to celebrate the resurrection of their Lord from the dead — was to discern and decide under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the set of books which were to be recognised as the normative witness to their Risen Lord. It was eventually settled over a long period of time, and the result of that process of discernment was what we call the Canon of Sacred Scripture; and at the heart of it, of course, are the gospels.
But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again.
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You are the light of the world. Your light must shine in the sight of men, so that seeing your good works, they may give the praise to our Father in heaven. We would all explain our reasons for responding to the call to be here together in somewhat different ways, shaped by our own deepest convictions and beliefs.
I am convinced, however, that the contribution that each of us has to make and, most crucially, the contribution we can and must make together, is vital for the peace in the world.
We pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and to guide is in the way of peace. But Christians cannot, and do not, stand alone in the cause of peace, but must stand in solidarity with all people of faith. What struck me most as I listened to contributions from representatives of different religions was that consistently there was a clear connection between prayer and peace.
Men and women become people of peace precisely through prayerful fidelity to the religious truth in which they believe. That is how it works.
We can be peacemakers if we personally receive the gift of peace. And the reasons we need to come together is that our witness to peace will be all the more effective if it can be a common and concerted witness. When Pope Benedict addressed politicians in Westminster Hall in , he spoke of the vital contribution that religions must make to the Common Good, to identifying and promoting the values that underpin our lives, that underpin social harmony and peace in our communities, and in our world.
Christian values have created the moral framework for our social life in this country, but as Christian faith loses its purchase in society, our moral compass falters and we lose direction. Changing that situation is a task for all faith communities who live together in this country.
We must be in solidarity, not in conflict, and the terrible events we watch unfolding in Syria and elsewhere should act as a stimulus for taking that forward. To me, one of the most shocking and discouraging things in our world today is to see people of religion at odds with one another. It is often said that Britain is now a secular country, but that is rather simplistic. In Britain today we welcome people from all over the world — people of different races and different faiths.
What I want to say is that it is vital that together, we identify the shared values that can be the basis of a peaceful society, and a more peaceful world. And I suggest that in Britain we have a special responsibility for contributing to this process, because this is a fundamentally tolerant society.
We are free to learn and receive from one another, and to contribute to the common good together.
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Thank you! I also have a message from my superiors. There is much that we can do to benefit the poor, the needy and those who suffer, and to favour justice, promote reconciliation and build peace. Need to activate? Institutional Access does not have access to this content. Open Athens. Purchase Content 24 hours online access to download content.
Lord of Light
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