La importancia de una cooperación interreligiosa más amplia en busca de la paz y el desarrollo de nuestros pueblos.

The importance of a broader interreligious cooperation in search of peace and development of our peoples.

  • 11/15/2021 – By The Rt. Revd. Dr. Jesús Manuel MEJIA QUIROZ

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, leaders and promoters of peace, dear religious leaders:
We are living in times when we must seek spaces for dialogue, prayer, reflection and working for unity among Christians and promote reconciliation in the world. For many centuries, there have been divisions both between Christians and between different churches. This causes a great deal of pain and is contrary to our Heavenly Father’s will. We believe in the power of prayer and unity. Together with all Christian and non-Christian religious leaders around the world, let us work for unity under the leadership of the common good, and together offer initiatives that lead us to seek ways of harmony and peace, as we strive to overcome separation and difference.

We are united and we realize that we are different; we have to look to the future and put aside our fundamentalism. We must learn that our faces are different and we have a lot to learn from each other, so let’s break the boundaries of indifference, because our destiny is the same.  Faith must lead us to peace and God did not call us to compete or say what church is the best; God called us to be ambassadors of peace.

As Christians of different churches and traditions, we have to regret that over the centuries we have accumulated many burdens consisting of mutual mistrust, bitterness and suspicion. We thank our Heavenly Father for the birth and growth of spaces for dialogue and encounters that continue to promote initiatives of common work and reconciliation with the different churches in the world.

No one should suffer as a result of his faith. Leaders must remember that without love nothing works. The fanatic does not love. I want to encourage leaders of other traditions to seek mutual forgiveness, reconciliation, and acceptance. We must not allow the burden of our past to keep us from drawing closer to one another. It is the will of our Heavenly Father that we let go of the burden to let God act!

Let’s continue promoting dialogue, harmony and respect. Let’s not look back, let’s not blame ourselves, let’s remember that all religions have a message of peace. The future is in unity combined with diversity. Nobody has the absolute truth; we are seekers of God; we must continue looking for bridges and ties with others; we are children of the same God. Diversity is a gift and not a threat. Hatred darkens our spirit and deprives us of our future. We should not have the idea of  exclusivity or allow the growth of discrimination.

As Christians belonging to Churches and traditions that are not fully reconciled to one another, we are often discouraged by the lack of progress towards unity and brotherhood. Some have even given up all hope and see this unity as an unattainable ideal. Others don’t even see unity as a necessary part of their Christian faith. As we pray for the gift of unity, let us pray with faith, constant patience, and steadfast hope, trusting in the loving providence of our Heavenly Father. Interfaith unity is the desire of all human beings.

As religious leaders, we do not intend to change people’s ideas about their beliefs or religions, but to find common ground by emphasizing harmony and peace. Lack of understanding can obscure efforts for fellowship and interfaith unity. Look for dialogue meetings and promote the possibility of working for peace from the religious realm based on respect and understanding. Do not give up our primary convictions, but work for what unites us, for tending to the needy, the migrant, the foreigner and for the care of our planet.

Interdenominational dialogue is essential, because without peace between religious communities, peace in the world is not possible. Through dialogue and understanding, acceptance of each other’s traditions and values  will be nurtured and intolerance and hatred will be reduced. Being open-minded allows us to understand that others are also following their spiritual path, and very often they share universal ideals of love and compassion.

Finally; our world is changing rapidly, with advances in science, technology, modern forms of communication and transportation bringing us closer together, but at the same time dividing and distancing people and cultures on a deeper level. Cultural conflicts and competition lead to hatred and violence, destabilizing world peace, which is why it is important that the dialogue can only be considered on terms of equality. If a religious group sees another as either inferior or superior, the dialogue will be impossible to establish. Dialogue is important in the globalized world, and God help us to continue working for Peace.

The Rt. Revd. Dr. Jesús Manuel MEJIA QUIROZ
Anglican Bishop Anglican Catholic Church of Peru

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