2003-02-10
Interfaith Cooperation & Response to the Crisis in Iraq

   Interfaith Cooperation and Response to the Crisis in Iraq

 
Introduction
 
Representatives of various religious communities met on Jan. 24, 2003, to share their concerns about the crisis in Iraq. The representatives decided that their various faith traditions share the same commitment to peace and the affirmation of life. In prayer, all of the religious traditions represented confess our human frailty and ask for divine intervention in order to bring peace to this world. In our prayers, we join hands and express our compassion for the current crisis facing humanity, especially the people of Iraq. Based on this stance, we have decided to work together as interreligious peacemakers and to extend an invitation to members of various religions in Hong Kong to hold the people of Iraq in prayer on the weekend of Feb. 14 to 16, 2003, during their worship services and religious activities on these days.
 
Affirmation of Faith for Peace
 
As people of faith of various religious communities in Hong Kong, we Muslims, Buddhists,Catholics and Protestants jointly express our deep concern for the current increasing momentum for war against Iraq that will have grave consequences for the lives of the people of the country.
 
We want to underline that we make this affirmation of faith for peace based, not on any political stance toward any particular country, but rather on the values of our faith traditions which compel us to speak out for peace and the preservation of life. In war, the civilian population suffers disproportionately. We fear that tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians will perish in any conflict.We, therefore, cannot support war in Iraq, for we believe that there are alternative ways to resolve the current crisis in a peaceful manner. It depends upon whether the international community has the political will to do so. Furthermore, unilateral action by one country, or a few countries, should not replace the role of the international community.
 
We thus call upon the international community to use non-violent means to settle the outstanding issues in Iraq for the lives of all people of all nations are sacred.
 
One reason, we believe, for social instability and violence between and within countries is political, social, economic, and cultural injustice. Interreligious dialogue and cooperation contribute to resolving injustice in a peaceful manner, and thus, we pledge ourselves to continue to work together for peace and justice within countries and between countries.