BELGIUM - An alliance between religions to promote peace

No war is holy, just peace is holy. The elimination of others in the name of God is always blasphemous, it's just horror and dread. The violence can be stopped, but the war can only be overcome with peace. The dialogue is the medicine of conflicts, it heals wounds, it makes it possible for the future.


When you cannot imagine the paths to peace, only the ruins and hate remain. You should have the audacity to think about peace, and not to give in to the inevitability of war, because if there is no peace, there is no future, both for who wins and who loses. This is in summary, the final appeal of the 28th International Meeting of dialogue between religions and cultures, which was held in Antwerpen (Antwerp), Belgium September 7 to 9.


300 religious leaders of the major religions of the world (Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and others) and personalities of humanist culture, gathered from 70 countries around the world, in the Flemish city on the invitation of the Community of Sant'Egidio subscribed to it.


The document also contains the common commitment "to defend the lives of our brothers and sisters of different religions that are threatened." In particular, the Yazidi community in Iraq, persecuted and massacred by ISIS, which launched from Antwerp his cry of pain through the Iraqi deputy Vian Dakheel.


The condemnation of intolerance, violence and terrorism with religious motivation was clear even by the Muslim present leaders: from the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Abdel-Karim Allam to the Iranian Shia Ali Abtahi, who stressed the peaceful and tolerant preaching of Muhammad. Islamic radicalism, it is said, is the result of an alliance between the tyrants, who proclaim themselves caliphs, and ignorants, who do not know the true faith of the Koran. The fanatical interpretation of religion, added the rabbi of Buenos Aires Abraham Skórka (friend of the Pope), configure a new paganism.


"The time has come - Papa Francesco wrote in his message to the conference, foreshadowing a sort of alliance between different faiths - that religious leaders cooperate effectively and work to heal the wounds, to resolve conflicts and to seek peace ... our communities must be schools of respect and dialogue with those of other ethnic or religious groups, places where we learn to overcome the tensions, to promote equitable and peaceful relations between peoples and social groups to build a better future for generations to come."