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     Home > Justice & Peace >  2013-10-18 13:06:00
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Faiths working for conflict resolution

(Vatican Radio) Is religion a source of conflict? Or can it be the solution to conflicts and violence around the world today? Those questions were at the heart of the recent St Egidio international, interfaith conference, held here in Rome at the end of September, with the theme ‘The Courage to Hope’. Each year the encounter draws together hundreds of religious and political leaders from all the continents and all the major faith traditions to explore ways to pray and discuss practical ways of promoting dialogue, peace and reconciliation.
Among those attending this year’s conference was landmine survivor Jerry White, who serves with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. He’s also helping to lead a new government initiative bringing together people of faith to work on conflict prevention and resolution. He came to Vatican Radio to tell Philippa Hitchen more about the vision and the hopes behind this important initiative….

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"Secretary Kerry, back in Washington this summer, announced this first ever office of Faith based community initiatives and it's a way of engaging faith based groups around the world on three major issues - sustainable development, religious freedom and human rights, and the third which I'm spearheading is conflict, mitigation and religion.....

You're seeing a lot of innovation out of Washington these days...I think September was a very big month, at the UN General Assembly you saw the openings to Iran, the conversations on Israel-Palestine, as well as Syria and chemical weapons. So we're seeing a lot of very important diiplomatic initiatives in the conflict space, and the question is what is the Track Two side of this...how do you engage faith based communities and NGOs to be able to support the peace initiatives..."


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