Vatican and other faith groups ask governments and UN to stop religious extremism
Inter-faith summit charts action plan against religious extremism
Gulf News | December 14, 2014
Leading religious leaders who gathered in Abu Dhabi on Saturday to discuss an action plan to combat violent religious extremism called on governments of the world to cease and desist from all forms of funding and support for religious extremist groups.
Religious leaders of all faiths concurred that it is their sacred duty in this fight against violent religious extremism to use their knowledge and influence to provide their followers with the correct explanations of their religious texts.
The global multi-faith summit ‘Religions Working Together to Counter Violent Religious Extremism’ also urged governments to help negate the drivers of violent religious extremism by promoting tolerance, mutual respect and working to remove all forms of oppression and violence.
Dr William F. Vendley, secretary-general of the organisation Religions for Peace, said governments should also work to reduce poverty and develop stable institutions that can deliver essential services to decrease the socio-economic drivers of violent extremism.
Participants emphatically agreed that now is the time for action against violent religious extremism. High-level religious leaders and inter-governmental officials including Dr Vendley; Shaikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Peace in Muslim Societies and Co-Moderator of Religions for Peace; Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria and Co-Moderator of Religions for Peace and Nasser Abdul Aziz Al Nasser, High Representative, United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) noted that one of the keys to defeating extremism is the capacity of religious leaders to educate and mobilise their congregations against extremism.
Reverend Father Ayuso Guixot, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue highlighted the need to convince young people. “We have to reach young people, helping them live in a world of peace and justice. Young people need hope and jobs. Stagnant economies and poverty fuel extremism.”
The conference yielded a multi-religious statement, which called upon governments, the United Nations and religious communities to work together, leveraging their own unique strengths and abilities to counter violent extremism through the promotion of human dignity and rejection of violent extremist narratives.