Archive | January, 2011

Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future

International Consultation
Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future

Geneva, Switzerland

FINAL STATEMENT

Preamble

At the joint invitation of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Islamic Call Society (WICS), the Royal Aal al Bayt Institute and the Consortium of A Common Word, 64 Muslim and Christian leaders, scholars, and activists from around the world gathered in Geneva, from 1 to 4 November 2010, to develop concrete ways of building a common future, in order to achieve more compassionate and just societies, based on equality, co-citizenship, and mutual respect.

Nature and objectives

Very few meetings have like this one been organized as a jointly prepared and jointly sponsored consultation. It has been made possible because of the shared experience over recent decades of international Christian and Muslim consultations:

Motivated by our commitment to interfaith dialogue, the consultation aimed to help Muslims and Christians move beyond the discourse of minority and majority towards upholding the principle of shared citizenship. We desired to stress the role of religion in reconciliation, instead of allowing it to be identified with conflict, and to emphasize the importance of education in eliminating mistrust among religious communities.

With this in mind the consultation focused on three main areas:
- Beyond Majority and Minority.
- From Conflict to Compassionate Justice.
- Education for Understanding and Shared Citizenship.

In the opening session representatives of the organizers presented their perspectives on the theme of the consultation. Short lectures by invited experts on each of the topics were presented to the full consultation. Parallel working groups then listened to local experiences from around the world presented by participants. On this basis they then considered the themes in ways which combined theoretical and practical perspectives.

Opening session

Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, opened the proceedings by welcoming the participants and thanking the Muslim partners for their commitment to this project. The consultation builds on the long experience of such meetings in which the WCC has been an active and committed partner. From its origins the WCC has been committed not only to the oikoumene of the Christian churches but that of all humanity. The General Secretary spoke of his experience as chair of the church

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A People’s Charter on Peace for Life

Preamble

Recognizing the yearning and right of people to live in peace with dignity;

Realizing that a new global situation has arisen with new challenges and threats to peace, in which the total life of all living beings is at stake;

United by the need to rediscover the true meaning of peace today as peace with justice and peace for life;

Conscious of the need to be self-critical about accommodation and compromise with the forces of domination and exploitation;

Underscoring the need for a new commitment as well as the need to mobilize people in order to make and build peace;

This Charter is adopted as an affirmation of the ardent desire and aspirations of the people for peace.

Objectives

This Charter is adopted with the following objectives:

To articulate the people’s vision of peace for life;
To clarify and redefine the context and concept of peace for life;
To affirm the fundamentals of peace;
To serve as a reference point as well as a guide to action for groups and movements for peace; and,
To provide a framework on which instruments for peace efforts can be built in specific situations.

SECTION I A New Context

The New Context

Peace is the condition for the fullness of life, just as justice is the precondition for peace. Peace ensures the harmonious living of all humankind and creation. In essence, peace is the defense of human dignity and the integrity of the cosmic order of living beings.

From the most violent and war-ridden century in history, the world emerged into the 21st century only to witness the inauguration of an endless and borderless imperial war. A new international order of a global empire with its political, militaristic and ideological/religious dimensions is emerging. Led by the USA, the

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Indigenous peoples meet to “affirm spiritualities of life”

Some 40 theologians, most of them indigenous and representing different regions of the world, will meet in La Paz, Bolivia this weekend to share their various experiences and theological reflections.

This consultation is a follow-up to the world indigenous consultations called by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Baguio, the Philippines in 2008 and Geneva, Switzerland in 2009.

At the same time this event is unique in being the first of its kind as a

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International Seminar on Towards a Convergent Vision of Peace in the Word

The world has been dominated by the peace ideologies of the powers that be throughout history. In modern times nation states has been engaged in the World Wars; and regional wars have involved geo-political struggles among the global powers. Nation states are not good peace-makers and bigger nations are worse peace makers. Today the ideology of Pax Imperium dominates and dictates the geo-political contours of the world, seeking global hegemony. Against such global context peoples around the world struggle for peace and citizens

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International Ecumenical Peace Convocation

Kingston, Jamaica, 2011. May 17-24

The IEPC will encourage churches to reflect and promote peace and justice in their lives and in their theologies. Jesus’ great commandment “Love your neighbour as yourself” is a guiding light for the gathering and its four main themes: “Peace in the Community”, “Peace with the Earth”, “Peace in the Marketplace” and “Peace among the Peoples”.

The World Council of Churches’ 9th Assembly (Porto Alegre, Brazil, February 2006) decided that “the conclusion of DOV be marked by an International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC)”. The Assembly also called for “a process of wide consultation to be undertaken toward developing an ecumenical declaration on “just peace”. This consultative process leading up to the IEPC allows for broad participation with many entry points, and covers a wide spectrum of thematic and methodological approaches.

The IEPC will bring together a wide spectrum of people witnessing to the peace of God as a gift and responsibility of the entire human family. It seeks to strengthen the church’s position on peace, provide opportunities for networking and deepening our common commitment to the processes of reconciliation and just peace.

For more information: http://www.overcomingviolence.org/

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