Meeting immigrants, the Community of Sant’Egidio perceived that they are looking for friendship and they want to share the values of citizenship. Jerry Essan Masllo was a young South African refugee. He was killed in Villa Literno (near Naples) in 1989. After such a brutal act of racism, a new movement was born in Italy: People of Peace, an aggregation between old and new Europeans (the immigrants) who wanted to make an alliance to outline a new Europe.
People of Peace, spread all over Europe, shows that different people can live together even if the globalized world is in crisis and conflicts are escalating and growing in number. Today the movement gathers members of 120 nationalities who subscribe to a program of peaceful and sympathetic citizenship to which a Manifesto (see below) has given expression. In order to create a culture capable of changing the social climate there is need to set out on a path of integration and coexistence among people with different languages and religions. This is also an investment for a better future for all. Through the movement a new social fabric has been woven, made of relations, meetings, and shared experiences.
The feasts (Easter, Christmas, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, etc.) are celebrated by the members together even if they belong to different religious traditions. While mutual acquaintance is promoted, coexistence become a habit based on mutual respect and solidarity.
People of Peace members are also engaged in helping newcomers to integrate into local society. Others look after elderly or volunteer to arrange the Christmas Lunches or to run the centres of the Community for indigenous and foreign needy.
PEOPLE OF PEACE - MANIFESTO
We are men and women from every corner of the world: from different nations, ethnic groups, cultures and religious beliefs.
WE ARE PEOPLE OF PEACE
Some of us have left our countries because of war, persecution and discrimination. Some others have left homes and families seeking a better future. Others again live in countries where social conditions ensure no more hunger or war.
WE ARE PEOPLE OF PEACE
All of us have a dream: that people can live together, no longer thought of as foreigners. We want to live this Movement of ours amongst the most diverse peoples, where this very diversity is seen as a positive value.
We realise that respect for each other, that non-violence, justice, solidarity and mutual esteem, are not just dreams, but are the real secret of saving this world in which we live.
WE ARE PEOPLE OF PEACE WHO BELIEVE:
- in respect for every man and woman, recognizing the sacredness of each one; each is God's creature.
- in non-violence as the most powerful weapon against all violence, capable of energizing good will amongst all.
- that it is right and just committing oneself in order to ensure that all may enjoy equality, and become full citizens of a more just world.
- in solidarity with all, but especially with those who are weak and suffering.
- in peace,which is the most profound desire of every man and woman.
We wish to live according to these principles, with God's help. With this love for peace, we recognize all as our brothers and sisters, without exception, as children of the one God, even though we differ in language, culture and religion.
WE ARE A MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE OF PEACE