“Long before there was a government, there have been, and will continue to be, places of worship.”
Religions for Peace
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if religious denominations around the world rolled up their sleeves and worked every day to bring peace in our war-torn world?
Despite what may feel like “lip service” for peace, religious wars are often the most long-lived and damaging to those involved. Jews and Palestinians, Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and for many years Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants fought until the Good Friday agreement was signed during the Clinton administration and brought the fighting to a halt. In my own home state of Kentucky, 855 “Know Nothing” mobs attacked and killed 22 Irish and German Catholics in 1855 because they believed that Catholic immigrants were a threat to society as they knew it.
Religions for Peace is a powerful and effective vehicle for peace and justice in our world. They provide effective responses to the world’s challenging issues and believe that these problems can best be tackled when different faith traditions work together.
The organization names key priorities:
- Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies
- Faith traditions are inspired to action to become change makers “when conflict, mass deportation, poverty and violent extremism call for common action.”
- Religions for Peace leads an effort to recognize “the intricate connection between all forms of life and communities, calling us to work for a sustainable environment.”
- Gender Equality
- While some faith traditions continue to limit the role of women, Religions for Peace consider equality for women and girls “a foundation for securing a more peaceful and inclusive world for all people.”
I consider it important to recognize the efforts of religious organizations to create a more just, inclusive and peaceful world. While some denominations continue to exclude women from ordination and limit involvement in decision making, and even exclude in language, here is a world-wide organization striving to make a difference for ALL denominations. We need such organizations to lead the way with serious efforts to address the crisis of climate change, of never-ending wars, of sexism and racism.
I applaud Religions for Peace for doing just that.