Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Can Religious Diplomacy Open a Window to Global Peace and Coexistence?


Can Religious Diplomacy Open a Window to  Global Peace and Coexistence?

The recent historic visit of Pope Francis to Iraq  with Motto of “We All Brothers” has widely welcome by Muslim and Christian community in international level.  Firstly, he was warmly welcomed by people of Iraq with releasing a few pigeons as a symbol of peace and then many high ranking religious scholars and religious officials from different part of world including Muslim and Christian have welcomed and appreciated the actions for the promotion of peace and brotherhood in today’s turbulent world.  Reportedly, Pope Francis said that he was bringing a message of peace  and coexistence urging Iraqi Muslims to embrace the country’s Christian minority.
It was also meaningful when Pope Francis visited the ancient city of Ur, the birthplace of Abraham, who is revered by Christians, Muslims, and Jews. In city of Ur, he calls on religious leaders to put aside confessional differences and work together. In a speech, he urged Iraq’s Muslim and Christian religious leaders to put aside animosities and work together for peace and unity.”From this place, where faith was born, from the land of Our Father Abraham, let us affirm that God is merciful and that the greatest blasphemy is to profane his name by hating our brothers and sisters,” the pope said as media news reported.
The meeting between the two religious leaders, a Catholic Pope Francis and Grand ayatollah Sistani as Muslim leader, is considered to be the first time in history. According to some experts, among the active religions of the world, Islam and Christianity, due to their global mission and geographical scope, can play important role in establishment of peace and brotherhood in today’s global world. Meanwhile, the existence of relations and dialogue between Islam and Christianity as leaders of the theistic current versus the materialist current is both necessary and inevitable. Among the religions of Christianity, the Catholic Church, led by the Pope, is more powerful because of its global structure, leadership, and single religious political system. For this reason, the Vatican has always been the most important Christian audience for countries around the world, including Islamic countries.
Culturally, any Intercultural dialogue amongst diverse religious community can be helpful to global peace and coexistence as long as these relations are not misused by politicians or else it will remain as a negative record in the history. We must note that  the global cultural diversity can be threats and sources of hatred, and also it can be opportunities for global peace and cultural enrichment through mutual understanding and equal intercultural dialogues and constructive relations. But unfortunately, the peaceful relations among peoples and nations are threatened in the contemporary world by alienation, misconceptions, and lack of respect, exclusion, marginalization and ignorance of other cultures, traditions, beliefs and history.  In addition, tensions and dangerous acts of violence have arisen due to fundamentalist approaches to religions and civilizations.
In general, the world religious leaders are expected to draw the world’s attention on global growing injustice, oppression, ruthlessness, humanitarian crisis and disorders! Unfortunately, day today, the poor people are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer while the world became more imbalanced than ever. The wealth is gained at cost of shedding blood of innocent children, women and men. One day, if a crazy man access to nuclear weapons, he will destroy the whole world in a minute with a button and then no nation may survive. One day, if poor people wake up and knew how rich, rich people are, there would be a uncontrollable riots everywhere in the world. Likewise, if the climate change keeps changing, human should wait for a more unhealthy, unsafe, and unsustainable future. So, there are many natural and human created problems which will not be resolved without global consensus and good-will.
As a part of this unbalanced and upset world, this is more than forty years that Afghanistan has been igniting by an announced war. People are subjected to extreme poverty, violence, health and lack of education. A large number of Afghan children die mostly from preventable diseases such as pneumonia malnourishment and diarrhea.  Nearly three million addicts are in this nation of about 30 million people, including children and women. Most of the women are opium addicts desperate to blunt the trauma of endless war. Many are illiterate mothers with unemployed husbands. Most have a little in the way of job skills, and some became addicts while picking opium poppies to earn a living and support their families…these have been happening for years while the world is watching and playing childish policies!
In short, the two religious should not have only conveyed the messages of peace and putting an end to global war and conflicts but also the message of returning to God/Allah in post covid-19 era as it was considered as act of God because of rising war, oppression and bloodshed in the world. Based on religious resources, most of natural curses are attributed to human crimes; unfortunately, today not only we do not pity the nature around but also unkind to our fellow human as killing hundreds of children and young people with  single attack. the high ranking religious officials must not be indifferent against these crises which are resulted a huge of number of people are dying due to war and starvation.  All these are not because the world is incapable of producing enough for its growing population or has run out of raw materials, but simply because the greedy politicians lost morality and have not been able to agree on a fair system of managing the world’s economy. Therefore, at least, they should do their moral responsibility against imbalanced world. They should also stand against traitors of religions who kill human under name of religion.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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