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|A Call to Seek Paths of Reconciliation and Forgiveness|
|Wednesday, August 08, 2012|
The Universal Peace Federation extends its sincere condolences to communities targeted by recent violence and implores all parties to seek paths of reconciliation and forgiveness.
Recent days have seen a deadly upsurge of violence against innocent members of the public. In the United States, six people from the Sikh community of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, were killed during what should have been the most sacred and peaceful hours of the week. A grisly shooting spree in Aurora, Colorado claimed 12 victims.
In Nigeria, 19 churchgoers were murdered by two gunmen who burst into the sanctuary where the victims were engaged in Bible study. Reprisals against the Muslim community have taken several more lives. UPF implores all parties to resist the impulse to retaliate and to seek the path of reconciliation and forgiveness.
In Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, bitter fighting between rival sects of Islam has left thousands dead. At the end of August, UPF is convening Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Druze leaders in Jerusalem for a consultation aimed at supporting peace efforts in the Holy Land, where tensions are high as Israel watches the unstable developments in Syria and the Sinai.
UPF calls on people of all faiths to come together in mutual support and a spirit of reconciliation in these troubled times. Religious leaders in particular can do much to reduce hostility, fear, and tension among people of different faiths in the community, both by personal example and by taking time to educate their own communities about the many points that all faiths have in common.