May 26, 2019

Declaration of Friendship Across Religions in the making

Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein, director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute and Archbishop H.E. Aldo Cavalli, Apostolic Nuncio of the Netherlands.

Under the leadership of the Peace Palace, the Carnegie Foundation and the Elijah Interfaith Institute several religious leaders and representatives attended a meeting announcing an upcoming Declaration of Friendship Across Religions, to be signed by religious leaders of the word at the Peace Palace in 2020.

The Declaration of friendship across religions, intend to foster peace and understanding creating friendship among all religions.

The launch of the project at the Peace Palace on September 26 is a preamble to the 2020 Summit were religious leaders of the word will be invited to sign a common declaration. The project is meant to include discussions of issues of friendship, common values between religions, freedom of religion as well as approaches and mandates for further dialogue, mutual study and festivities as blueprints and yardsticks for future collaboration between faiths.

Mr. Erik de Baedts, Peace Palace Director.

With the strong support of the Peace Palace, the event counted with the presence of its director he said that the summit in the Netherlands will be a huge undertaking that will require the necessary cooperation, but the process of consultations worldwide and crafting the Declaration is an even more complicated and delicate matter that follows a careful interactive process supported by experts from the Elijah Interfaith Institute, the VU university, The Carnegie Foundation, and others.

Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein, director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute, declared: “This is time of Universal understanding; this is a new message of friendship teaching with simplicity. Get to know about each other, reaching a common vision, take care of each other; making friends is a way of living.”

“Engaging the leaders of the word to give this message of friendship” he explained “some time against their own message is a great task. We started the process two years ago now we came up with 60 declarations of friendship; it is a process where education to the young has an important impact.”

Advertising professional Mr. Mark Woerde, creator of the idea, Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein and Mr. Erik de Baedts.

Among the audience H.E. Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, Apostolic Nuncio to the Netherlands commented: “Peoples are very similar in some points, and very different in others; religions are very similar in some point, and very different in others.”

“ Respect to each other is fundamental,” stayed Archbishop Cavalli “ we have to learn, with our own identity the duty to respect the others and the right to be respected by the others, the duty to esteem the others and the right to be esteemed by the others. This is the true dialogue, the true friendship.”

Also among the audience Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, the ambassador of Egypt, H.E. Mr. Amgad Ghaffar and religious leaders from different faiths.


Photography by Naldo Peverelli

Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp

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