With religious tensions everywhere around us, intolerance and general sentiment of hate have become more than just commonplace. This inspired the world’s most prominent religious leaders to make a joint statement that encouraged people around the world to make friends across religions.
This arose from the belief that friendship and getting introduced to other cultural belief systems, are the most effective countermeasures against negativity, hate, racism and societal divisions. Indeed, communication, unity, and religious openness can finally have the opportunity to go viral.
“We are called, as we like to say, to look into one another’s eyes in order to see more deeply, and in order to recognize the beauty of God in every living human being”, said the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Rabbi Abraham Shoka, the leader of Argentine’s Jewish community noted that “It was through our religious calling that we found each other in life.”
Pope Francis stressed on the importance of daily communication between people from different faiths: “It’s very important, because my religious life became richer with his [Rabbi’s] explanations so much richer”
“Don’t focus on or search for differences between religious groups” – Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam said. Ayatollah Sayyid Fadhel Al-Milani, one of the U.K.’s most senior Shia Muslim clerics added, “Our advice is to make friends with followers of all religions.” And ,finally, the Dalai Lama concluded, “Personal contact, personal friendship [are required] so that we are able to exchange a deeper level of experience.”
This video was published by Elijah Interfaith Institute: a nonprofit, international, UNESCO-sponsored interfaith organization, founded in 1996. Its goal is found in its slogan: ‘Sharing Wisdom, Fostering Peace.’
Through its various activities and initiatives, the institute seeks to deepen understanding among religious leaders and scholars, with the hope that its vision will spread throught various communities.
WE SAID THIS: The various people who appear in these video represent all religions and sects, and this kind of tolerance is exactly what our world needs.