Syrian religious leaders, as members of the Religions for Peace Syria Working Group, met in Cairo on 28-29 August 2012 to address the escalating civil war in Syria and the role of religious collaboration in ending the conflict and building peace. The Cairo statement: Rightful Cries to Cease Bloodshed in Syria rejects the widespread killings and oppressions in Syria and calls upon the Syrian army to return to their barracks and all armed groups of the opposition to stop killing. Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace International and Interim Secretary General of the Religions for Peace MENA Council, praised the shared courage of the religious leaders, and stated that “cooperation among the religious groups in Syria is an irreplaceable key to a just peace for all Syrians.”
Senior Buddhist, Muslim, Christian and Hindu leaders in Myanmar, collaborating as members of the working committee for Religions for Peace Myanmar, issued a multi-religious statement on June 18, 2012 in Yangon, Myanmar, to address the escalating violence and the misuse of ethnic and religious differences to fuel conflicts in Rakhine state. The senior religious leaders reiterated that “Myanmar is a multi-religious and multi-racial pluralistic society and the beauty of Myanmar, which all the citizens have cherished, is unity in diversity.” They committed themselves to forming Religions for Peace Myanmar as a permanent mechanism for their collaboration.
Nairobi, Kenya - Over 100 senior religious leaders from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, and other religious communities convened in Nairobi, Kenya, 16-17 May 2012, to launch a child survival and maternal health pan-African initiative. The gathering, organized by the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, in partnership with UNICEF, the Government of Kenya, the African Council of Religious Leaders-Religions for Peace (RfP) and RfP International, was held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre - the historic venue of the RfP 4th World Assembly. United in their spiritual and moral consensus that human life has inalienable dignity and recognizing that religious communities possess spiritual, moral and social assets to reach the most marginalized and vulnerable among us, the religious leaders committed to taking a comprehensive advocacy and action for the health and wellbeing of our children and mothers.
Religions for Peace (RfP) and the Center for Interfaith Action (CIFA) today announced the launch of a global initiative to engage religious communities around the world in saving children’s lives through ten concrete and specific acts: Ten Promises to Our Children. These ten behaviors, within the control of families and communities, are endorsed by UNICEF and other development agencies. The initiative engages faith leaders, congregations, faith-based institutions, multi-religious councils and individual believers across diverse faith traditions to: Empower people to take responsibility for their health; Connect families to local resources, including through their local congregations which can serve as links to other service-providing institutions; Reach large numbers–including the hard-to-reach; and Drive demand for products and services.
Press Release: Sri Lankan Senior Religious Leaders’ Efforts to Advance Reconciliation and Peacebuilding
Tokyo, Japan; 28 March 2012 – A high-level multi-religious delegation from Sri Lanka met with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba today to discuss post-war reconciliation and peacebuilding efforts in Sri Lanka. The delegation consisting of Sri Lanka’s senior-most leaders from Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities was led by the Sri Lanka Council of Religions for Peace (RfP Sri Lanka), one of the 90 inter-religious councils affiliated to Religions for Peace, the world’s largest coalition of religious communities dedicated to advancing common action for peace.
Press Release: Syrian Religious Leaders Unite to Reject Violence and Call for National Reconciliation*
Larnaca, Cyprus; February 23, 2012 – Religious leaders from Syria urgently called for a peaceful solution and the rejection of all forms of violence regardless of its sources, as the nation undergoes widespread suffering. They were united in their call for the rejection of military and security measures and for the immediate release of prisoners of opinion. They acknowledged the urgent need to preserve religious diversity and respect for human dignity in Syria and committed to working together to advance national reconciliation.
The Religions for Peace Global Women of Faith Network, in collaboration with United Nations Women, Princeton University Office for Religious Life, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Ford Foundation, The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission, The Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations and The Institute for Global Engagement, launched an ongoing seminar on “Religion, Women and Peacebuilding” on Tuesday December 6th 2011. The seminar is designed to harvest and animate good practices of women of faith in peacebuilding around the world and linked to women of faith peacebuilding efforts on the ground.
Marrakech, Morocco -- Senior religious leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa rejected violence and called for deepened multi-religious collaboration as the region undergoes historic transformations. They committed to stand in solidarity with all vulnerable communities, to advocate for full religious freedoms across the region and to call on all religious believers to become a united force to help ensure that governments honor the full rights, protect and serve all of their citizens without exception.
An interfaith prayer breakfast will be held on Friday, June 10, on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meetings on HIV/AIDS. The breakfast will bring together leaders from religious and civil society organizations, government, and networks of people living with HIV to reaffirm the need for action and solidarity with people living with, and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Statement on the Earthquake and Tsunami Affecting Japan and Coastal Communities of the Pacific Region
The members of Religions for Peace—the world’s largest multi-religious coalition solely dedicated to advancing principled cooperation for peace—offer our most heartfelt sympathy and loving solidarity to the people of Japan and the coastal communities in the Pacific region affected by this horrendous natural disaster. Japan is especially dear to us for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is a birthplace of Religions for Peace and the site of both our first and most recent World Assemblies.