change language
you are in: home - ecumenis...dialogue - internat...or peace - antwerp ...e future contact usnewsletterlink

Support the Community

  

Opening 'Paths of Peace' in a world marked by too many conflicts: the International meeting of world religions for peace

Marco Impagliazzo: 'It will be the most important event for peace of the year, a strong message against wars, divisions and walls, in order to restore a soul to countries and continents in crisis'

Berlin's youth message to Europe: No More Walls

The event promoted by the Youth for Peace of Sant'Egidio in the multiethnic district of Neukölln, for a society of coexistence

 
printable version
September 9 2014 09:30 | Thomas More, Campus Carolus, Room 109

Contribution


Anders Wejryd


Co-President of the World Council of Churches

Any person who has her or his God may despise man, may despise other humans, may be convinced that he or she is one of the few who believes correctly, who has the truth, who may affect others’ lives against their will. God is with me, I am allowed to do this against someone else, maybe I even must, I have to, in order to be true to the calling bestowed upon me. God is greater, far greater than any human being and far greater than any part of God’s creation. 

This is what religion can do with people. We might think it I caricature, but many are convinced that this is what religion is like – and oftentimes I fear they are right. Religion can bring very ugly parts of human beings out in the open.

One hundred years ago so called Christian nations stood against each other. Enlightened Christian traditions, as many thought of themselves. A war would never again be possible between these nations. But it was and religion did not hinder it – instead it sometimes flared the fire. Then – and now – in ongoing conflicts. It is, of course, that side of religions which it is easy to make news out of, as there is conflict, conviction, lack of distance and lack of conscience, all at the same time. There was, and there is now, other traits in religion that serve moderation, peace, understanding and commitment to the human. But whoever thinks, that she or he has God or even those who have encountered God, do not necessarily see man or humankind.

But some prerequisites might help in order fulfill the wonderful vision of this seminar, that Whoever encounters God, does see man. 

We could of course put those prerequisites on us, as humans, and there are necessarily such prerequisites, as respect for the other, as longing for justice and love and so on. When I prepare this I realize I want to write more about that, but I hope my fellow panelists have or will do so, because I would like to focus on some prerequisites or at least helpers in the religions per se. 

In Christian traditions, which are the ones I can talk about with any credibility whatsoever we have some important helpers, all extremely traditional, to keep the immanent and the transcendent together, helpers that could make it come true, that Whoever encounters God sees man. Let me give three short examples:

1. We have a catholic faith. Of course, I do not belong to the Roman Catholic Church, but I do have a catholic faith, a faith with ambition to encompass and be part of the whole, the totality – of Scripture, of Tradition and of the World. There are tensions in the bible between the covenants involving the chosen few and the whole world, but the whole world is always there and the turn from at least Peter and Paul immediately involves all peoples. Then human value cannot be different for different peoples, not even for those of other or no faith.

Being a world religion helps us not to forget this, but there are no guarantees that not some do forget it. Living at a time when more and more people constantly encounter others with cultural and religious roots far away can work both ways. It can mean more understanding, more solidarity – or more fear, escapism and marginalization.

2. Our triune God is creator and sustainer of all, regardless of faith or origin. Whoever encounters a human sees God. That feeds wonder and awe, humility and gratitude. And our Saviour, “Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.” 

Jesus Christ is obviously not limited to the believers. He is also all over. Our task is to try to follow him and to make him known. Not to bring him in into what is already his. And Jesus is also, according to the Nicene Creed, which was what I quoted, involved in creation, all of creation. Whoever encounters God sees man.

3. “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” That is how the Creed continues. Creation is sanctified through Jesus Christ’s walking on it, living in it, surviving by it. The very special feature in Christianity of incarnation is a challenge and a blasphemy to many. It shows us both the power and the powerlessness of God and the reciprocal necessity of our deeds for the other. For all what you have done to any of these who are my brethren, you have done to me. Or you have not done to me, as it is said in Matthew 25.

Whoever encounters God sees man.

So my three points, examples of help from within the Christian tradition were:
Catholicity, Trinity and Incarnation.

 

PROGRAMMA
PDF

LIVE STREAMING



RELATED NEWS
July 21 2017
ROME, ITALY

Opening 'Paths of Peace' in a world marked by too many conflicts: the International meeting of world religions for peace


Marco Impagliazzo: 'It will be the most important event for peace of the year, a strong message against wars, divisions and walls, in order to restore a soul to countries and continents in crisis'
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | ID
June 20 2017
ROME, ITALY

Central African Republic: an agreement for immediate cease-fire and a road map to peace was signed at Sant'Egidio

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL | RU | HU
October 24 2011

The Spirit of Assisi: 25 Years of Prayer for Peace

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL | RU
March 21 2011

Jos (Nigeria): a Conference on peace, the service to the poor and the intereligious dialogue

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL
all related news

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
August 1 2017 | PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

The Saturday night of Pretoria's Sant'Egidio youth with the poor: story of a contagious solidarity

IT | EN | FR | ID
July 25 2017

Summer of Solidarity 2017 with the Community of Sant'Egidio: some pictures from the world

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | ID
July 21 2017 | ROME, ITALY

Opening 'Paths of Peace' in a world marked by too many conflicts: the International meeting of world religions for peace


Marco Impagliazzo: 'It will be the most important event for peace of the year, a strong message against wars, divisions and walls, in order to restore a soul to countries and continents in crisis'
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | ID

ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 5 2017
L'Eco di Bergamo
Impagliazzo: "Caccia alle ONG ora basta, si perseguano i trafficanti"
August 1 2017
Notizie Italia News
Cent’anni di denuncia dell’“inutile strage” che è ogni guerra …
July 30 2017
HASEPOST
Angela Merkel kommt zum katholischen Weltfriedenstreffen – aber nicht nach Osnabrück
July 22 2017
Avvenire
Un mondo ferito dalle guerre ha bisogno di «strade di pace»
July 22 2017
Corriere della Sera
Merkel e i leader religiosi riuniti da Sant'Egidio in Germania
all press-related