“In the service of a wounded world”

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“In the service of a wounded world”

By Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader

The headline, “Serving a wounded world in interreligious solidarity” is the title of a joint document that has been issued by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the World Council of Churches. The document has a subtitle, “A Christian call to reflection and action during COVID-19 and beyond”.

The document is relatively short (24 pages), yet it contains the principles on which solidarity is based, namely among the Churches themselves and among the followers of religions in the world. The document contains principles and recommendations.

The first part deals with humility and vulnerability, or sometimes the wounded ones as we are all equal, as well respect for the privacy and nature of every human being; community, compassion, and the common good; in addition to dialogue and mutual learning. It also includes repentance and renewal particularly in hard times, as well as gratitude and generosity. All this cannot be attained without love, namely the love of God Who cares for the goodness of all people, and the love prevailing among people in its capacity as a basis for solidarity among humans.

The document contains recommendations which can be summed up in the following points: Finding ways of bearing witness to suffering; promoting a culture of inclusivism which celebrates difference as God’s gift to counter all signs of exclusivism we see today in our societies at various levels; nurturing solidarity through spirituality, considering how traditional spiritual practices such as prayer, fasting, self-denial and almsgiving can be more deeply infused with an awareness of the needs of the wider world and of our call to be in solidarity with the suffering; engaging and supporting young people, whose idealism and energy can be an antidote to the temptation of cynicism, in the endeavor to heal the wounded world we are part of; creating space for dialogues that are embracing and inclusive their motivation, principles and recommendations for working in interreligious solidarity, so that we may grow closer both in understanding and cooperation; involving the youth and supporting them so as to create space for dialogue in addition to restructuring projects in order to consolidate solidarity among religions.

The world needs nowadays solidarity more than ever. It is solidarity within the Churches on the basis of unity. As for the other religions, actions of solidarity are also based on the belief in the one God, on the contribution of religions to alleviate human calamities, on praying to the Lord to heal the world, in addition to conducting joint action to relieve human beings’ pain and suffering, as well as helping people working in the medical field find drugs and vaccines that may preserve humans’ health, physical and spiritual integrity.

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