"It seems to me that after 37 years of walking, from Assisi to Berlin, we have to say that something profound has really changed in the world of religions. It is here that another wall has fallen. Yes: a wall of distrust, ignorance and a sense of superiority towards each other has fallen. Today, after so many years walking together, we see this wall that separated us fall. Religions, in their diversity, have learned to coexist, to be complementary and supportive, not to fight each other anymore, not to compete with each other, but rather to stand together, side by side. This historical breakthrough occurred because religions made peace their shared language. That is, they believed in the power of the word to change them: a word of peace, friendly, respectful and mild but that possesses a great historical strength." Marco Impagliazzo in Berlin 2023
We cannot resign ourselves to this scenario. Something more is needed. We need the “audacity of peace”, which is at the heart of your meeting. Realism is not enough, political considerations are not enough, the strategic approaches implemented so far are not enough. More is needed, because war continues. What is called for is the audacity of peace (...) It challenges believers in a particular way to transform it into prayer, to invoke from heaven what seems impossible on earth. Insistent prayer is the first kind of audacity. Pope Francis' message to the participants in the Meeting in Berlin 2023
At a serious time when the war scenario in so many parts of the world seems to be flaring up with increasing intensity, with its immense burden of sorrow, the words pronounced at the conclusion of the 37th International Meeting for Peace in the Spirit of Assisi held in Berlin last September, entitled "The Audacity of Peace", might be useful to reflect on.
On the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace, called by Pope Francis on the 37th anniversary of 27 October 1986, we recall what the Holy Pope John Paul II said to the Representatives of the Christian Churches and of the World Religions, gathered in Assisi, inviting them to offer their resources, the power of prayer, at the service of peace "Without in any way denying the need for the many human resources which maintain and strengthen peace, we are here because we are sure that, above and beyond all such measures, we need prayer - intense, humble and trusting prayer - if the world is finally to become a place of true and permanent peace."
For 37 years, the Community of Sant'Egidio has kept alive the spirit of Assisi, in prayer for peace and dialogue between religions and cultures. Therefore, on the anniversary of the Assisi Meeting we propose several texts and videos on this theme in the newsletter and on this website.
It is much more than just watching or reading a series of speeches: it is to take part in the work for peace which, as St John Paul II used to say, is "a workshop open to all'.