07/27/2017, 14.57
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Interfaith conference for peace and forgiveness held in Jerusalem

All three monotheistic religions in the Holy Land were represented. In a world where hurting others has become a "pastime", it is necessary to embark on a journey to build a future that is not marked by hate. Whoever hates is its first victim. It is crucial to educate children to carry these values ​​into the future. For Cardinal Tagle, we must follow the example of Christ on the cross and bear witness to forgiveness.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/LPJ) – Several prominent figures from the three monotheistic religions present in the Holy Land met in Jerusalem at an interfaith conference on peace with the experience of forgiveness as its main topic, the website of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem reported. The conference was held at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center on 12 and 13 July. What follow is yesterday’s press release (Translated by AsiaNews).

On 12 and 13 July, the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center hosted a two-day conference on the subject of forgiveness titled "See beyond the storm".

Participants included world-renowned figures from the three Abrahamic religions such as the Archbishop of Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Yaoundé University professor Dr Adamou Ndam Njoya, Chief Rabbi Emeritus of the United Kingdom Jonathan Henry Sacks, Episcopal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem for Jordan Mgr William Shomali, Palestinian Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud al-Habbash, as well as others eager to participate in this interfaith initiative aimed at studying more deeply the notion of forgiveness.

Faced with the implacable relentlessness of violence in a world where, as Cardinal Tagle put it, "hurting others has become a daily pastime", especially in Jerusalem, home of the three monotheistic religions, participants agreed on the absolute necessity of embarking on a real reflection on how to build a society less marked by conflicts and hate, which are passed on from generation to generation.

Prof Enright, who was behind the conference and teaches forgiveness as a science at the University of Wisconsin (United States), noted that there is no contradiction between forgiving and seeking justice without hatred.

Mgr Shomali spoke of the adverse effects of hatred, noting that those who hate are its first victims because of the link between body and mind. Forgiveness thus becomes liberation and healing.

The conference stressed the crucial role of education, the transmission of values, such as better knowledge of others as well as dialogue, which can contribute to the progressive creation of a climate of trust and a path to forgiveness.

Mgr Shomali also insisted that "it is really essential to educate children to forgive; otherwise we will but waste time" because "when they become adults they will pass on these values".

Cardinal Tagle urged participants to live and be witnesses of forgiveness, following the example of Christ on the cross, who forgave those who condemned him, saying "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."

At the end of the conference, participants highlighted the positive aspect of such an initiative, insisting that it is not compulsory to agree, but it is indispensable to continue to engage dialogue in order to maintain the common goal of peace.

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