Dialogue explores role of religions in settling conflicts

Geneva Peace Week, United Nations, Geneva, November 2019, Photo: Xanthi Morfi/WCC

At an event entitled “The role of religions in settling conflicts,” held on 7 November in Geneva, peace-builders spoke out on the necessity of expanding the space for resolving conflict through dialogue and negotiation.

The event, held as part of Geneva Peace Week, was organized by the Permanent Observer Mission in Geneva of the Sovereign Order of Malta in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of Azerbaijan, Lebanon, the Holy See, the World Council of Churches (WCC), and the International Catholic Migration Commission.

H.E. Ambassador M.Th. Pictet-Althann, permanent observer of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Geneva, voiced her support for “raising awareness of the invaluable role and precious work that religious and faith-based organizations carry out for innocent sufferers in situations of wars and persecutions, and for their priceless impact in protecting victims of conflicts.”

WCC director for international affairs Peter Prove said: “Unless religions become part of the solution, they will likely continue to be part of the problem. Religions, or rather their human manifestations in communities, are not pure and perfect instruments of peace.”

The Apostolic Nuncio, H.E. Msgr. Ivan Jurkovič, Permanent Mission of the Holy See, Geneva said: “Religion and diplomacy can be complementary and reinforce each other through a faith-based approach. Today it seems more important to stress the value of dialogue at all levels.”

H.E Ambassador Salim Baddoura, Permanent Mission of Lebanon, Geneva, said: “Religious communities are not minorities; they all have a unique part in the sociopolitical process. Religions sometimes can become a source of conflicts, but so often they can serve as tools for reconciliation, coexistence and conflict resolution.”

WCC, oikoumene.org