10th World Assembly, August 2019, Lindau, Germany

Some 900 religious leaders and stakeholders attended the World Assembly in Lindau, Germany. Voting members all stood to reaffirm their commitment to Multi-Religious Co-operation:

“Guided by the principles of my own religious tradition, and respectful of religious differences, I commit myself to principled multi-religious co-operaton for PEACE. I will work as a partner with sincere believers of other religions and men and women of good will on matters of deeply held and widely shared moral concerns.”

Such is the aim and goal of delegates from all over the world, and while those of us working in national chapters rarely have a chance to get involved on international level, in coming together we realise our work fits into the richer tapestry of peace all over the world.

At the Opening Ceremony, H.E. Frank-Walter Stenmeier, the Federal President of Germany addressed the Assembly. He said that religions should never be the justification of hatred and violence, and no war should be waged in the name of religion, instead religions should act as tools of peace, stressing the belief that “Doctrine divides, service unites”. He offered the Prayer of St Francis of Assisi as a good working model for peacemakers to bring to congregations of all beliefs:
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.”
He pointed out that this is the first time for Germany t hold such a late gathering of peacemakers, along with Religious for Peace, and the Ring for Peace, our Assembly Partner based in Lindau, Germany will be in continuous co-operation through the Department of Religious Matters at the Foreign Office to bring the message of positive peace to Germany, to Europe and to the world.

At Plenary Session 1, Dr Georgette Bennett amongst other esteemed panelists spoke of her work at the Tanenbaum Centrefor Interreligious Understanding on how to table hate speech which runs rampant in all starts of society. she suggested that we can fight back using the same social media that is deployed and use it to spread message of peace and understanding. She cited the education resources available at the Tanenbaum Centre as an example to tackle the problems encountered in places of worship, workplace and learning environments. https://tanenbaum.org/resources/

RfPUK Patron Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh delivered the Action Point on the Charter of Peace, reiterating the importance of co-operation and calling religious leaders to embody the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation as the firm foundation of peace. The preamble, purpose and principles of the Charter is available at: https://www.charterforforgiveness.org/charter/#purpose

Dr Andreas Görgen, Director General for Culture and Communication at the Federal Foreign Office of Gemany delivered the welcome speech to the delegates at the Opening Banquet, and the evening immediately picked up speed and energy, where exchange, learning, the spirit of shared well-being was most vivacious, and exploration of common action spurred on intense listening and future co-operation for all.