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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:05, September 13, 2006
World's religious leaders desire bigger role in international security
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Religious leaders from 20 countries expressed hope on Tuesday that faith would soon play a bigger role in improving international security.

They aired the view at the Second Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which opened early in the day in the Kazakh capital Astana.

"We should exert the unique rallying force of every religion to awaken the people's inherent kindness, banish their evil thoughts and make shared contributions to building a beautiful and harmonious, earthly pure land," said Jiamuyang Luosangjiumei Tudanquejinima, vice president of the Buddhist Association of China.

Jiamuyang's idea won widespread approval from the participants, including secular leaders present at the meeting.

"We should develop inter-confession dialogues", he said.

"As leaders of religions, we should find a bridge of mutual understanding in order to solve all conflicts with the help of religious efforts, but not diplomacy and policy," said Jona Mecger, chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel.

Mahathir Mohammad, former prime minister of Malaysia, said people should not use conflict as a tool to resolve problems.

"War is not the answer. Only owing to religion and trust people can adjust differences through negotiation," he said.

Abdullah bin Abdulmohsin Al-Turki, secretary general of the World Muslim League, said things would go wrong if terrorism was rashly connected with certain peoples or religions.

"We should fight together all kinds of terrorism," he said, seeing dialogue between different confessions as the most important medium for solving problems.

The Rt Revd Nick Baines, bishop of Croydon from the United Kingdom, said the religious leaders must take real action rather than sitting around merely for "dialogue or talks".

At the opening session of the two-day congress, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, chairman of the forum, saluted the dialogue-seeking religious leaders.

"I am glad to meet religious leaders whose main mission is to call all people on the planet for peace, mercy and accord," said Nazarbayev, who considers his country a model for peaceful coexistence between different religions.

Conflicts between states, economic groups and some politicians might often give rise to contradictions between religions, he said.

"The road up to this stage of our civilization has not been a straight line," said Alejo Vidal-Quadras, vice president of the European Parliament.

He said the world should uphold the moral values of freedom and condemn intolerance.

Source: Xinhua

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