The Abrahamic Faiths Initiative (AFI) dialogue in Rome brought together faith leaders with one overarching goal: to advance sustainable peace and mutual respect amongst faiths and around the world.
Faith leaders came together from the 14th – 16th January at Pontifical Gregorian University to discuss effective ways to cultivate and extend peace, in their neighbourhoods, countries, and around the globe. They discussed ways to build upon good practice to date; bridge gaps between efforts at grassroots and the highest levels of leadership; share knowledge and resources; and increase inclusion of women and youth.
Sheran Harper, Mothers’ Union Worldwide President said; ‘It was a deep and profoundly moving experience to sit alongside such diverse faith leaders, completely united in discussion around these outstanding issues of our time. When we can work together in all of our faiths, we have the potential to create real and lasting pathways to peace. With four million members, Mothers’ Union is already leading and delivering impact with women as change and peace makers and I look forward to continuing to bring this learning and sharing to future conversations and action.’
Participants at the event also met with Pope Francis and in their final statement they quoted his Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, signed in February last year with the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, in the United Arab Emirates. In doing so, the AFI provided a resounding “yes” to Pope Francis and Grand Imam of al-Azhar el-Tayeb’s ‘invitation to reconciliation and fraternity among all believers, indeed among believers and non-believers.’
The AFI united 25 religious leaders and attendees included Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies; Riccardo di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome; and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and all Palestine.