Address of Secretary General William Vendley Religions for Peace in Lindau

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Address of Secretary General William Vendley Religions for Peace in Lindau

Lindau-en.abouna.org

Following is the text of the address delivered by Secretary General William Vendley Religions for Peace 10th World Assembly Lindau, Germany, on 20 August 2019:

Your Excellency President Steinmeier Your All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Your Eminence Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah Eminences, Venerables, Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters All

Your Excellency President Steinmeier, your presence and your words move and encourage us greatly. It is good that we gather here in Germany, this land of great cultural heritage, hospitality, and genius. We are greatly pleased to be in partnership with the German Foreign Ministry in its commitment to advancing the role of religions in building Peace.

Brothers and Sisters, entering this hall, we did not leave our religious hearts at the door. Each stepped through the door pulled by an undertow, a sea of Sacred Mystery so deep, so good, so healing that our experiences of it have called us to unite in an alliance of common action. Ours is an alliance of care, of Mercy, of Love.
Our alliance honors our differences, even as it serves the Peace for which the human heart hungers.

We are about 900 here from 125 countries, but we represent a far greater, ever-growing, and ever-radiating alliance of goodness that Religions for Peace gladly serves.
In the light of this radiating goodness, we acknowledge with sorrow all the ways—subtle and gross—that we and our religious communities have fallen short. Our hearts grieve over the misuses of our faiths, especially the ways they have been twisted to fuel violence.

The burdens of the human family are known in this room. We know too well the blood of war, how it kills, maims, and destroys the lives of the innocent. We know the crushing weight of extreme poverty, how it stunts, humiliates, and plunders. Ten percent of our human family is desperately poor. We know there are 65 million of us who no longer find shelter in the sanctuary of their homes. They are refugees, internally displaced and persons on the move. We know we have entered a terrifying new arms race, one that includes modernizing nuclear arms, weaponizing space, new energy weapons, and weaponizing artificial intelligence coupled with robotization. Meanwhile, our earth is being cooked, the rainforests decimated, the seas poisoned, the web of life choked.

We are also experiencing what might be called a “meta-crisis” of our Modern Order, the Order that lies behind the United Nations and the agreements our States have made on human rights, the rule of law and international trade. Freedoms of all kinds and the protection of minorities have come under attack around the world. While on the economic front, a meager handful of the richest persons have more wealth than the bottom four billion. Exacerbating the political and economic dimensions of this meta-crisis of Order, there is today a “meta-crisis” of truth which challenges the notion of “truth,” while “fake news” is tailored for commercial or political gain. Today, we’re buffeted between inconvenient truths and convenient fabrications.

Our heart’s inner-most experiences of the Sacred and our outer-most social lives cry out to be seamlessly connected in a state of positive Peace that Religions for Peace has called Shared Well-Being.

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 14:13
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