Interfaith Peacebuilding


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Interfaith Programs

In the News: Interfaith Prayers for Peace at the Vatican


UPF applauds the peace initiative taken by Pope Francis during his visit to the Holy Land in May. He met with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders as well as visited sacred and historic sites and held outdoor masses. On the second day, he invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to join him at the Vatican on June 8 to pray together for peace. He begged his hosts to end a conflict he said was “no longer acceptable.”

UPF encourages both religious and political leaders to transcend historical self-interests and pursue the ideal of “One family under God.” Since the dawn of history, human beings have sought to understand their origins and their destiny, giving rise to religions centered on revelation, sacred texts and understandings of truth and goodness. Wherever there has been human society, there has been religion. While there has frequently been misunderstanding, competition, and conflict among believers of various religious traditions, most sacred teachings are shared by believers across the spectrum of the world's religions.

"Peace is a gift of God, but requires our efforts. Let us be people of peace in prayer and deed," Pope Francis tweeted regarding the June 8, 2014 prayer meeting. "Prayer is all-powerful. Let us use it to bring peace to the Middle East and peace to the world."

Dialogue that fosters mutual understanding, respect and cooperation can contribute to peace and human development. This initiative by Pope Francis is an example of how religions can become a leading force for peace in this world.

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