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September 6 2015

Andrea Riccardi: "States and religions cannot give up when facing wars: only peace can stop the exodus of migrants" At the opening of the international assembly of Tirana "Peace is always possible".

 
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TIRANA - "Today something worries us: the widespread resignation to surrender to the history of violence, terrorism and war as if they were unstoppable phenomena. As if peace were a lost utopia of the last century". The founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio, Andrea Riccardi, at the inauguration of the meeting "Peace is always possible", launches his alarmed appeal in front of the "failure" of the international community and the perspective of surrender of the public opinion – when reacting to the current conflicts. Riccardi takes Syria as an example: "For more than four years [Syria] dies every day under the shots of a terrible war, that is lasting more than World War I. I ask myself: where is the movement for peace in Syria? Where in the Arab countries? Where in Europe? Where in the Mediterranean? The passion for peace seems exhausted". However – says Riccardi – you cannot give up when facing war: "Syrians come in Europe. Only a restatement of peace in Syria and Iraq will allow refugees to stay in their land. Syrians, like all other war and environmental refugees, leave their countries. Who has the right to stop them?"

The feeling of surrender questions religions as well. "Shouldn't religions – asks Riccardi – open a stronger dialogue for peace, highlighting the value of peace? Something needs to break through in the religious world: when facing the question of peace for many people, when facing refugees that knock on our doors, when facing violent theologies. The self-referral of believers happens when the Spirit sleeps. Religions need to express the rebelliousness of the moral consciousness against violence and evil. Violence kills humankind, but before that, it kills mankind's humanity and the religious soul". Riccardi remembers many Europeans, that in these days did "break through" going towards refugees, even when popular protests build walls: "Religion creates, in love, a tie with the other. As such, there is a need to come together to communicate between different families of believers and converse with nonreligious people and humanists".


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