Faith is an essential foundation of life

UN Secretary General Moon

In delivering the 2013 UN Message to World Interfaith Harmony week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said "For billions of people around the world, faith is an essential foundation of life."

Secretary-General's Message for 2013

For billions of people around the world, faith is an essential foundation of life.
It provides strength in times of difficulty and an important sense of community. The vast majority of people of faith live in harmony with their neighbours, whatever their creed, but each religion also harbours a strident minority prepared to assert fundamentalist doctrines through bigotry and extreme violence.

These acts are an affront to the heritage and teachings of all major religions. They also contravene the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms the right of all to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It is imperative that the moderate majority is empowered to stand firm against the forces of extremism. But, this can only be achieved through strong leadership.

Next month at its forum in Vienna, the Alliance of Civilizations will continue its efforts to unite faiths and cultures. Whether on the world stage or in their communities, religious and cultural leaders have a responsibility to speak the language of tolerance and respect. This is a central message of World Interfaith Harmony Week.

We must also reach out to young people with a message of hope. Too often marginalized, jobless and facing a future of uncertainty, youth can be easy prey for fanatics offering a sense of cause and community. We need to expose the invalidity of this lure and offer a compelling alternative.

This cannot be achieved by words alone. Young people need jobs and a meaningful stake in a future that they can believe in. The United Nations is currently engaged in defining a post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Our goal is to eradicate extreme poverty in our lifetime and promote equitable economic opportunity for all while protecting the environment. To do that, we need the engagement of all actors – including young people and communities of faith.

We live in times of turmoil and transformation – economic, environmental, demographic and political. These transitions bring both hope and uncertainty. Our job is to ensure that hope wins, and our task will be made easier if the followers of all faiths collaborate in common cause. Let us never forget that what divides us is minuscule compared with what unites us. Working together, we can achieve all our goals for peace, prosperity and physical and spiritual well-being.

Ban Ki-moon

Source

Photo Credit







Religions for Peace

Religions for Peace

Offer a Meal Movement

Offer a Meal

Religions for Peace Australia invites you to join the worldwide Offer a Meal Movement – a movement which skips a meal a couple of times a month in solidarity with–and prayer for –those suffering from hunger, extreme poverty or violent conflict.

The Golden Rule

Golden Rule, Australian Version

An Australian Version of the Golden Rule Poster is available

Multifaith Australia - Reimaging our Common Future

Reimagining Our Common Future

Religions for Peace Australia, with RMIT Chaplaincy, present Multifaith Australia – Reimagining Our Common Future public lecture by Religions for Peace for World Interfaith Harmony Week. Watch a video of this lecture by Prof. Joe Camillerie and the response by Maria Vamvakinou, MP.

Interaction

Interaction

Affliated with Religions for Peace Australia, InterAction is Interfaith Youth building a generation-wide movement of young people. Inspired by individual spiritual traditions, InterAction works together to build a better world. Visit Interaction

Anti Racism

Racism, it stops with Me

Religions for Peace has partnered with the Australian Human Rights Commission Anti Racism Strategy

9th World Assembly

Religions for Peace

The 9th World Assembly of Religions for Peace was held in Vienna during November, 2013. Theme Papers and Resources are available.

Who's Online

We have 132 guests and no members online

Sexual Abuse Inquiry and Royal Commission

Pope Francis asks for forgiveness

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness for child sex abuse carried out by priests.

Read more...

Pope appoints women to Vatican Abuse Commission

Pope Francis

(Reuters) - Pope Francis on Saturday named a woman molested by a priest as a child to be part of a core group to help the Catholic Church fight the clerical sexual abuse of minors that has haunted it for over two decades.

Read more...

Royal Commission to sit in Brisbane

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Next week the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse will hold public hearings in Brisbane the first outside New South Wales. But unlike the investigations so far it will concentrate on relatively recent allegations of abuse at a Catholic school in Toowoomba.

Read more...

Child abuse commission shows its teeth

Girl sitting

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse ended 2013 and four months of public hearings with a sting. On the receiving end was YMCA NSW, which had spent weeks arguing it was also the victim of a pedophile who had infiltrated the self-proclaimed leading childcare provider.

Read more...

‘Roadmap’ For Addressing Justice For Victims

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today released a paper outlining its approach to examining the scope of justice for victims, ‘Justice for Victims: Addressing or Alleviating the Impact of Child Sexual Abuse in Institutions’.

Read more...

Royal Commission victim briefings

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Twelve months after it began its investigations, the national Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse has revealed some more details of its private briefings.

Read more...

Pope Francis to combat child sex abuse

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has announced he is setting up a commission to boost efforts to combat the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Read more...

Royal Commission: Anglican Church approach to abuse victims was antagonistic

Royal Commission

The child abuse Royal Commission has heard that the Anglican Church took a harsh and antagonistic approach to victims of abuse from the New South Wales North Coast Children's Home.

Read more...