Religious Leaders Call for Common Action, Common Values

A key conference on inter-religious dialogue and cooperation opened in Geneva, Switzerland, today with a call to common action and values.

“In order to achieve a meaningful collaboration people who are engaged in dialogue must seek to live together in mutual empowerment,” said Catholicos Aram I, the moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC), in opening up the gathering.

The conference, sponsored by the WCC, is attended by over120 Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and other religious leaders, academics, human rights activists, humanitarian workers, journalists, and people experienced in working across religious traditions.

It comes more than 30 years after the WCC initiative its first full-fledged interreligious effort and is dubbed the “Critical moment in interrelaigious dialogue” conference.

Following that theme, Aram I emphasized that in today’s globalized world, there is more a need for “credible and relevant interrelations dialogue” than ever.

“By destroying all geographical, cultural, social, economic, political and racial boundaries and creating interdependence, globalization has brought about a sense of insecurity,” said Aram I. “This sense of insecurity has brought people closer to religion as a safe refuge against the forces of globalization.”

According to Aram I, this religious bond should extend beyond dialogue to a place of religious collaboration.

"Values, not interests, must be the guiding principles of interreligious collaboration", Aram I said.