LONDON – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called upon the world to help bring it out of the global recession by living according to the "deep moral sense" shared by all faiths.
Brown was speaking to an audience of 2,000 faith leaders, City leaders, schoolchildren and charity workers at London's St. Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday. He is the first serving Prime Minister to speak at the cathedral in its history.
Quoting passages from the Bible, he urged people to unite in forming a "global society." He pointed to the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: "Do to others what you would have them do unto you," and said that all the world's major religions had similar principles.
"They [world religions] each and all reflect a sense that we share the pain of others, and a sense that we believe in something bigger than ourselves – that we cannot truly be content while others face despair, cannot be completely at ease while others live in fear, cannot be satisfied while others are in sorrow," he said.
"We all feel, regardless of the source of our philosophy, the same deep moral sense that each of us is our brother and sisters' keeper … we cannot and will not pass by on the other side when people are suffering and when we have it within our power to help."
Brown spoke about the need to reform the world's markets to bring the world out of the recession. He said that markets needed to have the morals and values of society at their heart in order to serve people best.
His speech came just ahead of Thursday's G20 summit in London that will address the financial crisis. Brown said that the 20 world leaders would be concentrating on dealing with the problems of the global recession, climate change, unemployment, insecurity, poverty and hopelessness.
At the end of his address, the Prime Minister spoke of the need to conquer fear with faith.
"What conquers fear of the future is our faith in the future, faith in who we are and what we believe, in what we are to today and what we can become, faith most of all in what together we can achieve."