Cyprus Meeting Appeal for Peace

«Too Many People Suffer in This World of Ours»

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NICOSIA, Cyprus, NOV. 18, 2008 ( Here is the appeal for peace issued at the end of the International Meeting of Prayer for Peace, sponsored by the Catholic lay Sant’Egidio Community and the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. This 22nd annual meeting was on «The Civilization of Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue.»

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Men and women of different religions and cultures, we gathered in Cyprus, this beautiful and wounded island, to pray, to dialogue, to foster the growth of a civilization of peace, which the world needs to avoid becoming inhuman. We experienced days of peace, confident that peace is possible.

We are at a difficult point in history. Many certainties are shaken by the economic crisis that has seized our world. Many people are pessimistic about the future. Richer countries focus on protecting their own citizens. A very high price of the crisis will be paid for by the poorest of the world. We are deeply concerned about the millions of old and new poor people, victims of a market thought of as almighty.

Too many people suffer in this world of ours, from war, poverty and violence. No one should be happy in a world full of suffering. No one should close his heart to compassion. We share the sorrow of peoples which are held hostages by war, of those who were forced to flee from their homes by ethnic hatred or nationalism, of those who were kidnapped or are missing. Many people, too many, are suffering.

This is not the time to surrender to pessimism, it is time to heed the sorrow of people, and to work for the foundation of a new world order of peace. The quest for justice, the use of dialogue, and respect for the weak are the tools we need to build this new world order. We need a surplus of spirit and a greater sense of humanity! A world without a soul will soon become inhuman.

Regardless of their differences, our religious traditions strongly testify that a world with no spirit will never be human: they cry out that spirit and humanity should never be trampled on by war; they beg for peace. They want peace, they beg for it, they implore peace from God through prayer. Religions are aware that talking of war in God’s name is meaningless and blasphemous. They are convinced a better humanity will never come from violence and terrorism. They do not share the pessimistic belief in the inevitable clash of religions and civilizations. Religions hope and pray that a true community of peace will be established among peoples and within humanity.

No human being, no people, no community is an island. Everyone needs somebody else; everyone needs the friendship, forgiveness, and help of someone else. We share a common global destiny: either we live together in peace or we perish. War is never inevitable and it piles up ruins even in the hearts of winners.

No hatred, no conflict, no wall can resist the power of prayer, forgiveness, and patient love leading to dialogue. Dialogue does not generate weakness, rather it grants new strength. It is the real alternative to violence. Nothing is lost with dialogue. Anything can become possible. Here in Cyprus, therefore, we pray that every injustice, war and evil may soon be swept away, and brotherhood among peoples be restored, starting from this island and spreading to the Middle East, to Africa, Latin America, and the whole world.

May God grant the world the wonderful gift of peace, through the prayer of all believers!

This is not the utopia of heaven on earth, it is our duty to build a more human world. Spirit and brotherhood will make this world possible. No war is ever holy. Peace alone is holy!

May God grant the world the wonderful gift of peace, through the prayer of all believers!

Cyprus, 18 November 2008

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