The subject of religion and its link to violent conflict has become a predominant debate in international relations and the world media. Tensions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and other conflict zones, and the present state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have made us aware of the complex inter-relationship between religion and violence.

Although the world's religions aspire to peace, it is a fact that in many instances, religious persons, resources, and organisations are implicated in conflict and violence. Shouldn’t religious communities and their leaders emphatically refuse to provide moral or ethical support for the use of violence in response to conflict or in the pursuit of political, economic, cultural, or religious ends? The non-violent perspectives of all religions in their Holy Scriptures should be promoted, and the faithful should be educated in this.

 

Pax Christi in the field of Religion

There will be no peace among religions without dialogue and cooperation among the religions and civilisations; no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. Dialogue between the different religions is the tool for a better understanding and peaceful co-existence.

According to Pax Christi International, true and lasting peace is made possible only through justice, reconciliation, and forgiveness; that is where religions often have something special to offer from deep inside their own traditions.

There is a growing interest today in multi-faith approaches to issues of common concern, especially in violent conflicts worldwide - from the Balkans to the Philippines. This interest is paralleled with a multiplication of different international inter-religious initiatives, gaining a measure of appeal.

There is a demand that there be adequate responses from faith communities to these initiatives. Member Organisations of Pax Christi International stimulate the need for these different multi-faith initiatives.

In situations of conflict or potential conflict, Pax Christi International and its Member Organisations provide a forum where religious and political leaders, as well as common citizens can together face what divides their communities. Pax Christi International pleads for the rights of religious freedom and worship.

 

Highlights

  • Pax Christi International works with Religions for Peace on the role of religions in the promotion of a culture of peace.
  • Pax Christi has undertaken international Advocacy work on the situation of religious minorities in Pakistan and India.
  • Pax Christi has issued a Position Statement on the question of Jerusalem, including the role/position of the three world religions in the Holy City.