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Interfaith Cooperation: A Response To The Crisis In Iraq

Feb 04, 2003 01:16 PM EST

Hong Kong - In the height of the The Church Unity and Relation Committee of the Hong Kong Christian Council setforth an interfaith cooperation in response to the crisis in Iraq.

Representatives of religious communities decided that their various faith traditions share the same commitment to peace and the affirmation of life. In prayer, all the religious traditions represented confess their human frailty and ask for divine intervention to bring peace to the world, especially the people of Iraq.

"We have decided to extend an invitation to members of various religions in Hong Kong to hold the people of Iraq in prayer on the weekend of Feb. 14 to 16, 2003, during their worship services and religious activities on these days. We are therefore sending you this message to invite you to participate in this prayer and invite you to sign the following statement as an affirmation of faith for peace," the council said.

The group invites community/organization to sign and send the names of the community/organization and the contact person to Hong Kong Christian Institute via e-mail by February 13, 2003. After collecting the signatures, they will send it to the press on February 14.

This Affirmation of Faith for Peace (Muslims, Taoists, Buddhists, Catholics and Protestants) aspires to underline that the affirmation to be made if for peace and not on any political stance toward any particular country; rather, on the values of faith traditions which compel humanity to speak out for peace and the preservation of life.

In a statement, the council clearly emphasized that in war, the civilian population suffers disproportionately.

"We, therefore, cannot support war in Iraq, for we believe that there are alternative ways to resolve the current crisis in a peaceful manner. Furthermore, unilateral action by one country, or a few countries, should not replace the role of the international community. We thus call upon the international community to use non-violent means to settle the outstanding issues in Iraq for the lives of all people of all nations are sacred. One reason, we believe, for social instability and violence between and within countries is political, social, economic, and cultural injustice. Interreligious dialogue and cooperation contribute to resolving injustice in a peaceful manner, and thus, we pledge ourselves to continue to work together for peace and justice within countries and between countries."

By Y.Hilado, ChToday Philippines
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