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UPF Statement about Middle East Peace

Written by UPF International

Thursday, January 1, 2015

On the foundation of decades of interfaith effort in the Middle East region, and in particular the Holy Land where a series of more than 40 international Middle East Peace Initiatives programs have been organized, and in appreciation of efforts to re-start a substantive peace process led by the principals of Israel, Palestine, and the "quartet" [USA, the European Union, Russia and the UN], UPF offers the following civil society peace initiative as a support mechanism to strengthen and stabilize the peace process being led by governments:Affirmations

1. All men and women are equal in rights and equal in value as members of one human family that has one divine origin, known by many names, God, Allah, Jahweh, ultimate reality, etc.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Interfaith dialogue fosters mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation, and on this foundation, religions may contribute greatly, not only to the believers' ultimate salvation, but to peace and human development in this world.5. Religion can and should be a leading voice and a leading force for peace in this world.Initiative recommendations

1. Establish an interfaith council among respected spiritual leaders representing Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, drawing from Palestine, Israel, Russia, and Europe. Convene the interfaith council each time the Israeli and Palestinian leaders meet.

2. Convene special sessions of the interfaith council in Vatican City with an audience and dialogue with the Pope, in Geneva with a meeting with leaders of the World Council of Churches, in the USA with a meeting with President Barack Obama, in New York at the UN with a meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and in Amman with leaders from the Arab world.

3. Develop youth programs that bring together young people from Islam, Judaism, and Christianity who can build bonds of trust and cooperation.

4. Develop a curriculum that respectfully teaches the core values of the faith traditions.

5. Encourage interfaith prayer among the Abrahamic faith traditions.


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