Why Interfaith Dialogue is More Needed Than Ever

Why Interfaith Dialogue is More Needed Than Ever

by Sheila Musaji


The 21st century is beginning with violence all around the world.  All of it is tragic and wrong.  However, one crisis may be more important to solve than any others because of the fact that the land on which it is happening is called “Holy” by the three Abrahamic faiths - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  And because of the strong religious attachment to this land, this crisis may have the most potential to ultimately result in another World War.  This would be a catastrophe and dishonor the very God that all three faiths claim to worship.

The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the current Gaza tragedy continues and sadly, there is a good chance that it will continue even after there is a cease-fire unless there is a change in attitude on the part of those directly involved as well as the supporters of both sides around the world.  This change requires rejecting violence as a solution to our problems.  As the violence escalates, there will not be a victor, only victims.  We have seen that violence begets violence, we must prove that non-violence begets non-violence.  If a non-violent consciousness is small, perhaps we can do something to make it grow.

This is an ongoing tragedy on the other side of the world.  But, the repercussions are also felt locally.  In the Muslim community there are some who transfer their animosity towards the actions of the government of Israel and Zionism into an animosity towards Jews or Judaism.  In the Jewish community there are some who transfer their animosity towards the actions of Hamas or some other Palestinian militant groups into an animosity towards Islam or Muslims.  In the Christian community there are some who so strongly believe that it is their duty to defend Israel no matter what in order to bring about the end times and the second coming and rapture that they are willing to ignore obvious injustices and to demonize all who don’t agree with them.  As members of a multi-faith society we all have our fears and our angry moments, but we must resist any tendencies to transfer hostilities to innocent people, or to make sweeping generalizations.

This is a very complicated situation and there is blame on both sides.  It is very dangerous and counter-productive to side unconditionally with either side.  It is also dangerous to do nothing.  Ali Elhajj in an article for Sojourners made the case for the requirement to act very beautifully from a Christian perspective:  “We cannot allow ourselves the luxury of assigning blame, washing our hands of the world, or placing ourselves above it. Nor can we allow ourselves to be held hostage by eschatological positions which offer no respite for those who bury the dead or care for the injured.  Now is the time to plead for peace and reconciliation, a time to end the madness and call for understanding. We may or may not be successful, but we cannot be silent. Our God was not silent in the face of our inequities, and while God could have judged us, instead he sent his Son to bridge the divide between God and humanity. If then we are created in God’s image and for God’s purpose, can we not then stand in the gap between Arab and Jew and beg for peace?  May God help us make this stand and forgive us if we do not.”

We are already seeing this conflicts effects on our various faith communities in America.  A recent incident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a good example of how close to the surface tensions are between those on both sides of this issue.  There was a protest and a counter-protest which led to name calling on both sides.  Some of the chants from supporters of Israel shouted slogans like: ’‘No mas, Hamas’’ and “There is no Palestine”.  ’‘Bomb, bomb Palestine!’’ and “Go back to Israel so we can shoot you!”.  And a Muslim woman then shouted “Murderers! Go back to the ovens! You need a big oven.”  This may be an isolated incident, and it did lead to Jewish and Muslim leaders coming together to publically condemn such rhetoric, but such events have a long life and continue to sow discord and mistrust for a long time.  Those individuals who were involved in this vicious and unacceptable language shamed those peacefully demonstrating for their cause.  Their shameful behavior must not be tolerated or condoned and we all need to do everything we can to make sure that we speak up loudly and clearly against such statements.  (Update 1/15/09 Pro-Israel Rally Attended by Big-Time NY Dems Descends into Calls for ‘Wiping Out’ Palestinians)  (Update 1/16/09 Ayman Fadel has written an excellent article about this problem of some individuals reacting emotionally and inappropriately.  In this article he says:  “I believe there is a group of demonstrators whose sole purpose is “shifaa’ al-suduur,” an Arabic phrase which I would roughly translate in this context as “blowing off steam.” They feel bad, like all of us, and marching and shouting insulting slogans and carrying provocative signs makes them feel better. Those in this group should indulge the rest of us in our delusion that we can actually improve U.S. policy towards the Palestinians. Indulge us by not undermining us in that work. If you must blow off steam, have a separate direct action. Or travel abroad and fight. Or, better, fast the day and pray at night that Allah ﷻ relieves the Palestinians and forgives us for betraying them. Organizers of these events must make it clear why they want people to come and take measures to prevent or limit behaviors that undermine this purpose.)

We also need to resist the temptation to utilize such techniques as publishing only one side of a story.  When this story spread like wildfire on you tube and activist sites, only the statement made by the Muslim woman was shown in the film clips and the stories.  There is no justification for her behavior as the Qur’an clearly states O believers! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses for the sake of justice, and let not the enmity of a people cause you to turn away from justice. Do justice, for that is akin to piety… Qur’an 5:8.  However, taking her behavior out of context and ignoring the identical behavior on the other side does no one any good.

The tensions in some cases have gone beyond words.  There have been synagogues attacked as well as mosques right here in America.  In my home of St. Louis there have been demonstrations almost every day for the past two weeks.  Thank God we have not seen such open hostility here, but it remains a possibility.  Each of our communities needs to demand of our religious leaders that they make strong statements condemning any such barbaric rhetoric.

Such behavior also has the very real possibility of setting back interfaith dialogue and interfaith relatiionships developed over many years.  It is very easy especially when tensions are high to see such disgusting behavior on the part of individuals as somehow a reflection of all of “those people”.  And, this is a tendency that we must resist.  We cannot allow such incidents to shake the foundations of interfaith dialogue.

As Eboo Patel has pointed out“The basic line I’ve heard from both sides is, “We can’t talk to people we have such fundamental disagreements with.” And so interfaith groups break apart. Friendships between Muslims and Jews are strained. And we revert to shouting our own talking points louder and louder.  But, slowly, it seems that some people are realising that increasing the volume on your own talking points and trying to drown out the other side is not a strategy for getting to a solution.  A senior Jewish American official told me yesterday “Jews and Muslims in America should be modelling positive relationships here, and hoping that pattern offers a way forward over there.”  I emailed with senior officials of the Islamic Society of North America yesterday and they expressed a similar sentiment. In fact, point five of ISNA’s press release on the Gaza situation says the following: “Engage in informed dialogue with other Americans, especially Jewish Americans, so that religious differences do not become a source of civil discord and division ....”  My guess is that the idea of continuing positive engagement with people on the other side is probably gaining ground within Muslim and Jewish organisations, although it’s still very much a minority attitude (inertia is a powerful force). “

And Jeff Chandler in Jewish Week points out that: “Indeed, efforts aimed at promoting better relations between the area’s Jewish and Muslim populations are being tested as they haven’t been in years as emotions over Gaza reach a fevered pitch in both communities, according to organizers of those programs.  The conflict has also renewed suggestions by members of both communities that such efforts are “feel-good moments” at best, unlikely to change the gut feelings of participants and, therefore, limited in what they can achieve.”

Metro Detroit religious leaders clearly saw the implications that the current crisis in Gaza could have right here in America when they said:  “Many have joined us in our prayers for working together for peace in the days ahead. May the God of Compassion and Mercy, draw all of us together with bonds of justice and reconciliation.  We recognize that all of the events in the Middle East have local implications. And, we know that our Metropolitan Detroit community longs to hear from its faith leaders—to hear their prayers and their collective call for peace.  The violence in Gaza and elsewhere continues. In our own communities, there is demonizing of each other and too many of our community leaders seem to communicate through news reports and opinion pages of the newspapers rather than engage in any meaningful dialogue in person. We have continued to be involved in such dialogue and strongly encourage others to do the same. We realize, that often what is “not said” can be just as hurtful as what is actually said. Silence at key points in community life can contribute to misunderstanding, bigotry and more violence. We are committed to speaking together for justice and peace when silence is hurtful. We understand the statement that we have signed shows that the interfaith community: is still talking to each other; is praying for a long term solution to the problem in the Middle East; is asking for all to working locally for the collective good and for peace; and, denunciates violence on all sides, without finger-pointing at single side.”

This is a crossroads moment in history for all of the family of Abraham.  It is also a crossroads moment in history for interfaith relationships in the U.S.

We, as people of many faiths should be able to say that all human rights violations in the Middle East (or anywhere) are unacceptable, whether they are committed by Muslims or Jews or Christians, or whether in the name of the State of Israel or in the name of Palestinian nationalism. These violations include attacks on civilians, demolition of houses, or harassment of any kind. We should be able as people of faith to call on both sides to engage in dialogue toward a peaceful solution.  We as people of faith should be able to state that we do not accept the validity of any view point that attempts to usurp the religious authority of either Islam, Christianity, or Judaism to excuse acts of violence or human rights abuses.

We, as people of faith, should be able to get past narrow sectarian understandings and at least say “For God’s sake stop the violence, now, stop the killing and start talking.”  We should be able to come together to pray for peace.  We should be able to set an example of how it is possible to dialogue and look for ways to compromise and find solutions.  I for one believe that it is our obligation.  I also believe that it is the only reasonable choice open to us.

See also:


INTERFAITH STATEMENTS CALLING FOR A CEASE-FIREChristian-Muslim Forum  - Council of Christians and Jews (U.K.)  - Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem  - Churches for Middle East Peace  - Archbishop of Canterbury -  - UCC / Disciples of Christ Global Ministries   - metro Detroit religious leaders  - Pope denounces violence, hatred, prays for peace in Gaza - Pope calls for truce - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America  - Presiding Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori  - The chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace - Methodist Church (U.K.)  - California interfaith leaders  - Church Leaders Appeal for Cease Fire in Gaza - US Catholic bishops plea for ceasefire in Mideast   - Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace  - Interfaith Peace BuildersCatholic Relief Services - Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice - American Friends Service Committee - World Council of Churches - International Interfaith Organizations Network

KEY PASSAGES FROM INTERFAITH STATEMENTS:

We are passionately committed to peace and reconciliation, dialogue and conflict resolution. We believe that the argument for and necessity of peace grows whenever violence and bloodshed in any form erupt and whoever perpetrates it, whether individuals, groups or states. We urge all parties to continue to seek peace, as our three faiths encourage us; to call to mind these seasonal words - ‘peace on earth and goodwill to all’ - which have such strong resonances, and to work towards re-establishing a ceasefire. We also urge our friends and supporters to continue to pray for peace.  Christian-Muslim Forum

“The serious deterioration of the situation in the Middle East is deeply regrettable and the CCJ is greatly distressed by the desperation and suffering of the people of Gaza and Israel. We welcome all moves towards humanitarian assistance into Gaza, call urgently for a return to the ceasefire, a cessation of the missile attacks and an immediate resumption of the search for ways of dialogue and co-existence” Council of Christians and Jews

As we express our deep sorrow at the renewed cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and the continued absence of peace in our Holy Land, we denounce the ongoing hostilities in the Gaza Strip and all forms of violence and killings from all parties. We believe that the continuation of this bloodshed and violence will not lead to peace and justice but breed more hatred and hostility – and thus continued confrontation between the two peoples. Accordingly, we call upon all officials of both parties to the conflict to return to their senses and refrain from all violent acts, which only bring destruction and tragedy, and urge them instead to work to resolve their differences through peaceful and non-violent means.  We also call upon the international community to fulfill its responsibilities and intervene immediately and actively stop the bloodshed and end all forms of confrontation; to work hard and strong to put an end to the current confrontation and remove the causes of conflict between the two peoples; and to finally resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a just and comprehensive solution based on international resolutions.  Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem

As people of faith, we care deeply about the welfare of both Israelis and Palestinians and deplore the violent deaths of those caught in this conflict. We reject all justifications for the unconscionable Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza into Israel.  We similarly reject the Israeli response as disproportionate and believe that it is likely to strengthen extremists and undermine moderates in the region.  Churches for Middle East Peace

The prophet Zechariah declared, “Not by might and not by power, but by my spirit says the Lord of Hosts”. The New Year is an opportunity for a new initiative that will set the tone for what lies ahead. Religious leaders, most particularly those of the region, have an urgent responsibility in supporting the search for peace and reconciliation.  Archbishop of Canterbury

The tragic loss of life and property in the Middle East, and the prolonged failure to negotiate a fair two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, are a matter of grave concern for all people of faith.  A permanent solution to the escalating cycles of violence must be found in the Holy Land that affects all the people of the Middle East.  We urge the Children of Abraham to stop killing each other.  We cannot stand by and let our families of faith be torn apart.  We pray for the end to killing.  We call for:  1) Prompt cessation of all hostilities by all sides—Ending the use of force causing civilian casualties and destroying lives/communities. 2) The United States to bring the warring sides together and resolve their differences.  3) The Israelis and Arabs to reach agreement on final and secure borders, to live in peace with justice side by side recognizing each others right to exist with dignity and security. The Signatories below invoke the spirit and guidance of God as we attempt to please God be calling for peace, justice and reconciliation.  Metro Detroit Religious Leaders

“The deep desire to live in peace ... rises in the hearts of the great majority of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, once more placed in danger by the massive violence that has broken out in the Gaza Strip in response to other violence.”  Benedict told pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square he feels deep sorrow for “the dead, wounded, property damage, suffering and tears of the populations who are victims of this tragic succession of attacks and retaliation.” Pope Benedict XVI

“The continuing loss of life, infliction of serious injury and devastation of property will only deepen hatred and divisions, and will serve no good end. Only negotiations, leading to a two-state solution, will bring about a durable peace with justice for both Israelis and Palestinians.”   Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

“Christmas reminds us that God took human form in Jesus Christ, vividly demonstrating the sanctity of all human life. This is not negotiable, and must be respected by all sides through an immediate end to violence,” he added. “My prayer is that the tragic events of recent days will spur everyone in the region, and in the international community, to intensify efforts towards establishing a just and lasting peace in the land of our Savior’s birth.”  Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

“The rocket attacks on Israel must be stopped, and Israel’s military attacks on Gaza halted. Our [bishops’] conference believes that more than words are needed. We ask you to urge the president to send a high-level personal representative to the region immediately to help negotiate a ceasefire and make provision for humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.  “The toll in human deaths and suffering, the negative effects on progress in negotiations for peace and the risks of wider war caused by this escalation of violence cannot be allowed to continue,” Bishop Hubbard exhorted. “Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has called on the international community to help Israelis and Palestinians to discard the ‘dead end’ of violence and pursue instead ‘the path of dialogue and negotiations.’ Immediate, visible and decisive U.S. leadership is urgently needed. ... A ceasefire and humanitarian relief are indispensable initial steps on the road to a two-state solution—a secure Israel living in peace with a viable Palestinian state—with justice and peace for both peoples.”  The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace

“We call upon the authorities in both Israel and Gaza immediately to disengage and cease all hostilities to enable a permanent ceasefire to be negotiated. Only when violence has ceased will it be possible to begin to negotiate a peace that will last.  We call on all people of faith to pray for all caught up in the conflict.  We also call upon the international community and particularly the United States and the European Union to bring maximum influence to bear to end all violence immediately and to create conditions that will lead to a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.”  Cardinal Sean Brady, Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, and Alan Harper, Church of Ireland

The now familiar sequence of escalating mutual hostility, invasion, and withdrawal without security arrangements has never worked—in Lebanon, the West Bank, or in Gaza itself. The United States and the entire world community must intercede to help reestablish a ceasefire, put an end to rocket attacks on Israel, and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

We appeal to US politicians and civil society, regardless of their political positions on the conflict, to exert all possible influence to alleviate this crisis out of humanitarian concern for the innocent on both sides. The children of Gaza do not launch rockets; the children of Sderot do not starve Gaza. Israeli and Palestinian peace groups agree: there is a peaceful alternative. Normalization of civilian life, negotiations that include all parties, and the serious consideration of ceasefire offers that have been made by both sides will ease the crisis.  The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ) welcomes efforts by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCR) to call for a ceasefire by all parties and an end to the blockade and siege of Gaza to ensure unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people. ICPJ calls upon all parties to work toward an immediate ceasefire, stopping the siege, ending the occupation, and resuming negotiations to work for a just peace in Israel and Palestine.  We appeal to people of faith on all sides of the conflict to put pressure on their leaders to work toward a peace that respects the dignity of all. Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice

So the cycle of violence deepens. Even today, Hamas threatens to increase the number of rockets fired into Israel in retaliation for the Israeli siege and air strikes. Israel justifies the siege and the attacks because of the rocket attacks. It’s an untenable situation that need not continue.  Violence must be replaced with negotiations. Both the air strikes and the embargo should end immediately. Israel should engage in diplomacy with the Palestinians, including Hamas as elected leaders of the Palestinian legislature. And every effort should be made through the good offices of the Arab states to urge Hamas to re-establish the cease fire and put forth a good-faith effort to end the current violence.  American Friends Service Committee

The first word to say to the violence against Gaza is ‘Stop’. Over 300 lives lost, more than 1,000 people wounded, uncounted thousands traumatized, bombardment of one of the most densely populated places on earth… this must stop immediately. Governments in the region and abroad, the Arab League, the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations must use their good offices to see that all those who are at risk are protected, on both sides of the border, and must ensure access for emergency and medical aid. The deaths and suffering of the last three days are dreadful and shameful and will achieve nothing but more deaths and suffering.  People around the world are looking for change that brings peace closer in the Middle East. A terrible period of deadlock and deprivation has now erupted into greater violence. Policies that rely on cutting off shipments of food, medicine and fuel for 1.5 million Gazans and on sending rockets across borders at random or ‘surgically’ only confirm how far from the path of peace the current authorities have strayed. To use ground forces would deepen the current disaster. Collective punishment against one’s neighbors is illegal and has no place in building peace.  World Council of Churches

The killing and injuring of innocent people in Gaza must stop, as must the rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.  It is deeply mistaken to believe that the current path of armed conflict will bring peace. It will not. Violence breeds more violence, increases human suffering and delays the long, hard work of building a just peace.  Peace can come to the Middle East, but only by honoring the rights of both the Palestinians and Israelis, facilitating painful but honorable compromises through sustained dialogue, and engaging the moral convictions shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims who know the Holy Land to be their common home.  Morally responsible Israelis and Palestinians know that the “right to self defense” can never be used as an excuse for killing, harming or inflicting collective punishment on innocent civilians. These abuses fuel the spiral of violence. ... Finally, Jews, Christians and Muslims, supported by the goodwill of believers of all religious faiths, should unite in their efforts to build peace. Religions for Peace knows that real security is “shared security” and that the other’s peace is also their own. In the Middle East, there will be no peace for anyone unless there is peace with justice for all.  International Interfaith Organizations Network


SCRIPTURAL PASSAGES ABOUT PEACE

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.  Isaiah 11:6-9

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  Matthew 5:9

They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  Isaiah 2:4

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”  Matthew 5:38-45

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” Psalm 122:6-7

The worshippers of the All-Merciful are they who tread gently upon the earth, and when the ignorant address them, they reply, “Peace!”  Qur’an 25:63

“Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabeaans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness—their wage waits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.” Qur’an 5:69

Exempt those who join a people with whom you have concluded a peace treaty, and those who come to you with hearts unwilling to fight you, nor to fight their relatives. Had God willed, he could have placed them in power over you and they would have made war on you. Therefore, if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then God gives you no way to go against them. Qur’an 4:90

…help one another in righteousness and piety, but do not help one another in sin and wickedness… Qur’an 5:2

O believers! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses for the sake of Allah, even (if this may go) against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin….  Qur’an 4:135

O believers! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses for the sake of justice, and let not the enmity of a people cause you to turn away from justice. Do justice, for that is akin to piety…  Qur’an 5:8

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).  Qur’an 49:13

For every one of you We have appointed a law and way of life. And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community, but (He willed it otherwise) in order to test you by means of what He has given you. So hasten to do good works! To God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were inclined to differ.  Qur’an 5:48

PRAYERS FOR PEACE

HINDU PRAYER FOR PEACE - Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real. Oh God, lead us from darkness to light. Oh God, lead us from death to immortality. Shanti, Shanti, Shanti unto all. Oh Lord God almighty, may there be peace in celestial regions. May there be peace on earth. May the waters be appeasing, May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and plants bring peace to all. May all beneficent beings bring peace to us. May thy Vedic Law propagate peace all through the world. May all things be a source of peace to us. And may thy peace itself bestow peace on all, and may that peace come to me also.

BUDDHIST PRAYER FOR PEACE - May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be free from their illnesses. May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free. May the powerless find power, and may people think of befriending one another. May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wildernesses—the children, the aged, the unprotected—be guarded by beneficent celestials, and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.

SIKH PRAYER FOR PEACE - “God adjudges us according to our deeds, not the coat that we wear: that Truth is above everything, but higher still is truthful living.” Know that we attaineth God when we loveth, and only that victory endures in consequence of which no one is defeated.

BAHAI’ PRAYER FOR PEACE - Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be fair in they judgement, and guarded in thy speech. Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness, and a home to the stranger. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.

JEWISH PRAYER FOR PEACE - Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that we may walk the paths of the Most High. And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares and our spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation—neither shall they learn war any more. And none shall be afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.

CHRISTIAN PRAYER FOR PEACE - Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS, for they shall be known as the Children of God. But I say to you that hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To those who strike you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from those who take away your cloak, do not withhold your coat as well. Give to everyone who begs from you, and of those who take away your goods, do not ask them again. And as you wish that others would do to you do, do so to them.”

MUSLIM PRAYER FOR PEACE - In the name of gOD, the beneficent, the merciful. Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who has created us and made us into tribes and nations, that we may know each other, not that we may despise each other. If the enemy incline toward peace, do thou also incline toward peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is the one that heareth and knoweth all things. And the servants of God, Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility, and when we address, them, we say “PEACE.”


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