Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue issued a message today as Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, nears its end (18 August). Signed by the Council's president, Card Jean-Louis Tauran, the message calls for "common reflection on the education of young Christians and Muslims for justice and peace that are inseparable from truth and freedom."
Inspired by Benedict XVI's message for this year's World Day of Peace, the message focuses on the educational role of the family, schools and universities, "not forgetting about those responsible for religious, cultural, social, and economic life, and the world of communication."
As such, it is particularly important for it comes at a time of turmoil among young people in many Muslim countries following youth-led Arab revolutions.
Citing the pontiff, the message goes on to say that "today more than ever we need authentic witnesses, and not simply people who parcel out rules and facts... A witness is someone who first lives the life that he proposes to others."
"Justice is determined first of all by the identity of the human person, considered in his or her entirety". For believers, the latter lies "in the fact that all men are created by God and are called to become one, single family. Such a vision of things, with full respect for reason and openness to transcendence, urges all men and women of good will, inviting them to harmonize rights and duties."
"In the tormented world of ours, educating the young for peace becomes increasingly urgent. To engage ourselves in an adequate manner, the true nature of peace must be understood: that it is not limited to the mere absence of war, or to a balance between opposing forces, but is at one and the same time a gift from God and a human endeavour to be pursued without ceasing. It is a fruit of justice and an effect of charity. It is important that believers are always active in the communities they belong to: by practising compassion, solidarity, collaboration and fraternity, they can effectively contribute towards addressing the great challenges of today: harmonious growth, integral development, prevention and resolution of conflicts, to name just a few."
For Card Tauran, young Christians and Muslims must "be genuine heralds of justice and peace and builders of a culture which respects the dignity and the rights of every citizen." Hence, "We invite them to have patience and tenacity necessary for realizing these ideals, never resorting to doubtful compromises, deceptive short-cuts or to means which show little respect for the human person."