Hagia Sophia – The World’s Multi-Religious Leaders Call for Calm
(24 July 2020 | Istanbul, Turkey)
Religious leaders from Indigenous, Jewish, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Jain, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Sikh, and Bahá’í traditions are raising their “voices and hands” as one “to urge for mercy and respect towards one another” in response to the Hagia Sofia situation.
In a newly released statement, the leaders of the world’s largest multi-religious leadership coalition, Religions for Peace note that Hagia Sophia is “meant to be shared with all the world”, and call for “…deliberate, intentional, coexistence, particularly as we hear of the voices, and see the actions, of divisiveness and hatred from many quarters.”
They commit to modelling “mercy, love and compassion… and appeal that any and all power be used with compassion and respect for one another.”
These leaders, many of whom have spent decades protecting holy sites, defending human rights, including minority rights and mediating conflicts, concluded their statement noting that, “our houses of worship reside, foremost, inside each and all of us” but urging leaders to “respect the sanctity and symbolism of such places, [as a means of] honouring our collective human dignity.”
The diverse religious leaders of Religions for Peace represent the world’s largest religious institutions and communities, with affiliated multi-religious leadership and grassroots women and youth platforms in 90 countries and 6 regions. Together they represent the only global multi-religious entity with national presence dedicated to human rights, sustainable development and peace and security.
Read their full statement (enclosed): rfp.org/rfp-hagia-sophia-statement/
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Prof. Azza Karam, PhD.
Different Faiths, Common Action.