DITC Note Of Caution: This article is offered as reference material only. We do not necessarily agree with the comments by the author.
Leaders Speak at World Peace Summit: Notable Quotes
by Thomas W. Jacobson, Issue Brief No. 19a, September 4, 2000
The first World (Millennium) Peace Summit for Religious and Spiritual Leaders was held in New York City from August 28-31, 2000. Sponsored by the United Nations, Ted Turner, the United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund (Turner's), the Ford Foundation, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and others, it brought some 2,000 religious, spiritual, public and private leaders from around the world. While Rev. Calvin Butts and Ann Graham Lotz spoke the clearest words of truth, going right to the heart of the problems being addressed (i.e., armed conflicts, hindrances to reconciliation, poverty and environmental degradation), absent were the leaders of every Protestant denomination in the United States and most everywhere else.
Here is a collection of statements (quoted or closely quoted) from those who attended, given in the following order: Peace Summit and UN officials; Protestants; Catholics; Orthodox; Judaism; Indigenous; Buddhism; Hinduism; Islam; Jainism; Shinto; Yoruba; Earth Charter Commission Members; Other Speakers, Panelists, Musicians; Conflict to Reconciliation; The Sudan; and Nigeria.
Peace Summit and United Nations' Officials
Bawa Jain, Secretary-General,
Millennium Peace Summit for Religious and Spiritual Leaders
Introductory remarks: "We are gathered here this morning as a testimony of the work of the United Nations. … Are you willing to commit your resources, your faith, to the work of the Secretary-General [Kofi Annan of the UN]? Show me! Show me! [applause, standing ovation, verbal affirmations] … Faiths and religions transcend national boundaries. … We should not wait for the political leaders to solve the problems of the world (but should) act in partnership with the United Nations. … We should join our resources with the United Nations and end poverty worldwide. … Help strengthen the only global institution, the United Nations, the only hope. … [Closing] I want to hear your hand of applause in this commitment to the building of this network with the United Nations." [applause; but not Chief Rabbi of Israel and Cardinal Arinze]
Secretary-General Kofi Annan,
"Religion endows people with compassion and morality.… We pray, therefore we are.… We are dealing with universal values… tolerance, love thy neighbor.… No religion can claim a monopoly on these values.… Let us affirm every man and woman's right to religious freedom (and) to print and publish.… There must be no room in the 21st century for religious bigotry and intolerance.… The United Nations stands outside all faiths."
Dr. Maurice Strong, Chairman,
International Advisory Board, Millennium Peace Summit
President, United Nations University for Peace
2nd Day: "We are the first generation, and perhaps the last, where our future is in our hands…. We are now witnessing a convergence of the spiritual and moral with the material aspects of life…. All nations in the past have given their greatest efforts to preserve their own security, but now must give the same effort to global security…. We clearly have the power to build a better world."
4th Day: "This is the first generation that can actually eliminate poverty."
"We need a moral and spiritual revolution to create the peace that is within our reach … We are no longer innocent … know what the needs are … God expects us to rise up … a moral obligation to do so."
"The calls for support of the United Nations … need to be responded to with concrete support."
Dr. Ted Turner, Honorary
Chairman, Millennium Peace Summit
Vice Chairman, Time Warner, Inc.
"When I was a little boy, I grew up in a Christian home, became a Christian, just like anyone growing up in their (religious tradition). But then I studied other religions and realized that my own religion was intolerant-not of religious freedom-but that all others were not going to heaven…. Maybe there is one God, not many gods, who manifests and reveals Himself to others in various ways…. Religion is not based on blood sacrifice anymore. It must be based on love."
"There is one human race…. We cannot afford to have people of different religions fighting anymore. It is time to get rid of hatred and prejudice…. I think God wants us to figure out how to have a more peaceful, gentle, loving world, and solve the problem of poverty."
Jayantha Dhanapala, UN Undersecretary-General,
"States (nations) must be pressured to reduce nuclear weapons … the goal is the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction…. Security cannot be secured solely with the purchase of arms."
Ollata Otumo, Special Representative
to the UN Secretary-General for Children and Violence
"Attack on children in wars is an abomination … 2 million children have been killed in wars … 1 million orphaned … 7 million disabled … 10 million left with emotional scars … 20 million displaced…. And 300,000 under 18 are used as child soldiers in 30 nations…. An estimated 90% of casualties in wars today are civilians."
He invited religious and spiritual leaders to be part of, "a pillar," a platform group to help stop this because, he said, "I have seen (you) be there when women and children are abused."
He urged the religious leaders to:
1. Use their moral standing and platform to be advocates for women and children;
2. Support international and local spiritual norms that protect women and children;
3. Stop demonizing other communities, which has caused wars;
4. Use your special keys to facilitate reconciliation, which must begin deep within.
5. Monitor commitments [to UN documents] and bring pressure [upon nations] to adhere to them;
6. Be sure children are on the agenda when negotiating peace agreements;
7. Place children at center of rebuilding efforts;
8. Encourage young people to become involved;
9. Support efforts to disallow any youths under 18 from being used in wars;
10. Work with the UN to make a difference.
"Children are innocent and vulnerable, but pay the highest cost in war."
Aye Aye Thant, daughter of
former UN Secretary-General U Thant
"My father had vision that UN would be hall for religious and spiritual leaders from time to time, not just government leaders, economists and sociologists."
"We are bound by a common interest in survival…. My father always believed in the oneness of humanity…. Conflicts don't result from differences in beliefs (but lack of education)."
[Let us] "be tolerant … [and] narrow the gap between rich and poor."
"Let us all strive to make ourselves better people."
Rev. Calvin Butts, Pastor,
Abyssinian Baptist Church
1st Day: "God is love. … If someone says he loves God and hates his brother or sister, then the truth is not in him."
Last Day: "What does God require of us but to love mercy, do justice. … In every faith there are those who have a prophetic role to be faithful to God alone … and to speak to those in (gov't) power.
"A rising tide of color … people of color are no longer satisfied with second-class status as citizens.
"The poor are no longer satisfied to be poor ... challenge of religion is the redistribution of wealth.
"What is justice for blacks is not the same for white … for men is not the same as for women … for wealthy is not the same as for the poor…. Forgiveness and love are essential (for all)."
Ann Graham Lotz, daughter
of the Rev. Billy Graham
She said Jesus Christ spoke to the very problems the Summit was seeking to address. "The source of the problems, according to Jesus, is in the human heart.… We must be born again, Jesus said…. Man needs a new heart, new mind, new spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness."
Rev. James Forbes, Senior
Pastor of Riverside Church in New York
Rev. Forbes called those present from all religions his "brothers and sisters" and "holy."
"Holy men and women, let us pool our collective wisdom toward peace…. Whatever the spirit of truth and justice is saying to us collectively (let us do it)."
The Most Reverend Njongonjulu
Ndungane, Archbishop of Capetown
"May we have the courage to act when God's laws of humanity and justice are violated.… Help us to obey God's laws written on our consciences."
His Holiness Abune Filipos,
Patriarch of Eritrea
"Peace is a gift form God and must be shared among us. Peace is the ultimate source of all noble human endeavors…. More resources of the UN must be used for peace…. Peace must be the global right, a fundamental right of all people."
"There is a partiality in the international community when it comes to conflicts in Africa."
Bishop Fu Tieshen, Vice Chairman,
Chinese Catholic Conference
"This is a golden age for religion in China."
"Some people want to trample on the sovereignty of nations under the auspices of human rights."
Rev. Konrad Raiser, General
Secretary, World Council of Churches
"We seek ways to create a global culture of mutual respect, not an amalgam of spiritual values of the lowest common denominator."
"Political leaders have held self-interest above (global interests)."
Rev. Raiser proceeded to speak very highly of the vision for globalization, world peace and higher ideals that could be accomplished through cooperation with "civil society" and the UN.
Karen Hesser, representing
Rev. Bob Edgar, Secretary-General, National Council of Churches
We must "work toward justice and peace for all."
"The National Council of Churches supports the United Nations."
While addressing most points of concern to delegates in words that supported a globalist worldview and the UN, she said, "an important function of the Church is to provide an early warning system for NGOs
(Non-Governmental Organizations associated with the UN), to facilitate help/aid."
"Churches seek to hold governments accountable to see that basic human needs are met."
Rev. Richard Morris
"We consider the existence of involuntary poverty and injustice as unacceptable."
He asked the UN to "turn its attention to poverty as the greatest problem today."
Rev. Welton Gaddy, Director,
Spoke of four essential steps to take:
1. "Focus on core values … no difference should keep us (apart).
2. "Move beyond toleration … only a first step … (to becoming) compassionate friends.
3. "Do work for peace in way that protects religious freedom…. We must resist all efforts to align our faith with any political entity (government) or national identity.
4. "Forge a unity out of our diversity."
Rev. Joan Brown Campbell,
Director, Department of Religion, Chautaqua Institution
1st Day: "You, by Your sacrifice, taught us love, taught us peace."
3rd Day: "Proselytizing must be renounced. No one should impose their belief system on someone else. Faith must be freely chosen."
"We must organize ourselves to be positive force with the United Nations and with nation-states."
"Religious and spiritual leaders must be truth speakers and speak to government."
Sister Christine Tan [Philippines]
"Root causes of poverty … (are) overpopulation and corruption of governments."
She advocated cooperation between religions to pool resources for poor and create schools.
His Eminence Francis Cardinal
President of the Pontifical Council on Interreligious Dialogue, The Vatican
"Part of problem of poor is an unwillingness to work."
[A specific article of a UN document] "guarantees the right to choose [one's] religion."
His Eminence, Theodore McCarrick,
Archbishop of Newark
"Religious leaders should know and respect each other … [but they] usually never speak to each other. If they know [one another], they can begin resolution of conflicts."
"We have in our traditions the teachings in the Gospels, Bible, Koran … that remind us we are all God's people and [tell us] how we can resolve conflict."
"Religious leaders must be courageous! … Should be more faithful to their God, Allah … than to political leaders."
Father James Kenny, Director,
Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions
"We are all called to speak to power (governments)."
There has been "growth in the 20th century in inter-relations of world religions" (mentioned several organizations, including) … International Association of Religious Freedom … Parliament of World Religions, United Religions International."
He spoke of creating a "global ethic for all … (including) respect for all life … tolerance."
Betty Williams, Nobel Peace
"Women have done wonders in Ireland … and solved the violence problem…. War is men's work…. We say to you men, we love you, but move over. If we make the world worse, we will give it back. We want to live, work and build a just society. With God's help, we will build a nonviolent society."
Priest from Africa (not on
"What can be done to stop conflicts in Africa, especially since most conflicts are caused by political leaders using religion…. 70% of the refugees in the world today are in Africa."
Father Thomas Berry
"The environment that has been given to us is not separate from us … there is a bond between earth and humans…. Inner development (in people) depends in part on outer development … We need to value the beauty of the environment."
His Eminence Gregorios Theocharous,
Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church, Great Britain
"May the Holy Spirit … guide us, and protect us and this great institution of the United Nations."
His Grace, Bishop Mitrofan,
Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Eastern America
Representing His Holiness, Patriarch Pavle
"Stop killing … stop destroying Serb churches."
He asked that funds be provided to restore from destruction of the 78-day war last year, especially for heat for the people, and that it was the duty of NATO to help.
There should be "respect for the God-give rights of all peoples," and "not dictating by force."
Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau,
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel
"They (Noah and family, animals, etc.) were in the ark together because they had no choice. They had a common enemy.… Don't we, all of us, have common enemies.… We have no choice but to live together.… Hands together … let us work together to bring this world peace."
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, Talmudic
"The 1st Commandment is to love God … and love one another…. Champions of peace have been vilified and crucified…. The lack of peace is the result of a lack of obedience to God…. Peace comes from love of God and obedience to His commands."
"What can we as religious leaders do to stop the blood bath? … Killing each other in the name of religion has to stop…. We must bring about reconciliation with God."
"We should protect every child in the womb."
"Poverty, which is the worst enemy of mankind … has to be addressed by developed nations."
Rabbi Samuel Rene Sirat,
former Chief Rabbi of France
Prayer: "We were silent when (others) were assassinated, gassed …."
"We wish to help eradicate poverty from the face of the earth."
Rabbi David Rosen, Director,
Anti-defamation League, Israel
"The big question is: Why are there conflicts among religions? … When is God on your side? When you are on His…. Tragedy of religions is our concern whether God is on our side."
Reading from Psalm 8 and 4, he said, "One time the Lord says He will arise … for the poor and downtrodden…. Only when we really understand the pain of another can we really (love one another)."
Rabbi Tony Bayfield, Chief
Executive, Reform Synagogues of Great Britain
"There can be no peace in the world without peace between the religions, and without the religions (themselves)…. Peace is not possible without justice (including) social justice…. Our task is not to wield power but to challenge power…. Religion must serve as the conscience of society, and speak on behalf of the poor, the hungry.…"
We must "inspire love between people of different faiths…. It takes long periods of dialogue…. (There is) only one God with many" (manifestations).
Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp,
Earth Charter Commission
Prayer: "Help us to realize we are part of one human family … with a common destiny."
Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Founder
and President, The Appeal of Conscience Foundation [USA]
"Too much blood has been shed in the name of religion. We must prove that religion is fostering peace."
In the former Yugoslavia, he told the leaders of the Orthodox Church: "Political leaders have failed. Religious leaders have a moral obligation to … foster peace … overcome past hatreds … stop conflict."
"First make a commitment to look toward the future, not the atrocities of the past … thinking of children and grandchildren."
"Every war comes to an end, and then you have to rebuild. Religious leaders above all have to transform the hearts and minds of the people (so that hatred does not continue). Religious leaders must be ahead of political leaders."
"Preach tolerance, preach peace. Cease fire on religions."
William Commanada, Algonquin
"The Creator is my Father … He created all things … They are all part of my relatives … the trees (animals, birds) … We must work together to save Mother Earth…. Without her we would not be here today…. All of the diseases of today are the result of mistreatment of her."
Audrey Shenendoah, Clan Mother,
"We (peoples, animals, birds) are all connected, all related, all family."
Chief Oren Lyons
With a large group of indigenous peoples standing behind him on the stage, said, "These are the people who have survived all the proselytizing you represent" (speaking of other religions).
Chief Francis Cree [Canada]
"God gave to Indians on the 'turtle continent' four teachings: love, respect, unity and faith in God…. (We must) respect everybody and God's creation … work with everybody in a righteous way."
S. N. Goenka, Buddhist Meditation
"Not conversion from one religion to another … conversion from bondage to freedom … cruelty to compassion … purity of mind to purity of heart."
He spoke of "purifying, having good thoughts," equating this to the "kingdom of heaven," and "not allowing hellfire thoughts which bring nothing but hellfire."
"One should not honor ones' own religion and condemn others, but should honor other religions … and love others."
Phra Rajavaramuni, Rector,
Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Thailand
"The mission of all religion is to achieve peace … which is the aim of the United Nations. The United Nations has the duty to maintain peace and security."
"Since wars begin in the minds of men, must construct mind for peace.… Buddhism says to conquer anger with love…. No [more] holy wars in the name of religion."
Indu Jain, Chairman, Times
of India Group of Publications
"There are many ways and paths to reach the truth."
"Need your blessing for the work of the United Nations."
"I would like to invoke the all pervading woman power … Give woman a chance (at leadership) … and nonviolence will be the religion of the new millennium."
Later as chairman of session: "Let us close our eyes and look to the god within, the space within … and let all negative thoughts go."
Honorable Ela Ghandhi, Member
of Congress, South Africa
(grand-daughter of Mahatma Ghandhi)
"Lack of access to land for poor keeps them from what could enable them to survive…. The United Nations needs to address this."
"I see light in everybody's eyes. It is the same light…. Our auras are gathered together."
"Person must see mistakes first, then can repent…. If we stop the war in the home (conflicts, spouse and child abuse), we stop it in the community, the nation …."
He spoke against any religion that imposes "conversion" and says you must believe a certain way "or go to hell." [Lots of applause.]
Unscheduled Islamic spokesman
"Religious bigotism is to be opposed as much as any tyrannical (oppressor)."
Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef,
former Secretary-General, World Muslim League [Saudi Arabia]
"Good deed and bad deed are not equal is a golden rule of Islam…. (Must turn) conflicts into reconciliation … (and have) co-existence."
Dr. Saleha Abedin, Rabita
Council [Saudi Arabia]
"We are all partners in the journey of the faithful."
"Poverty is the most serious and pervasive violence against the poor perpetrated by the rich…. Key [to correct problem] is education."
He recommended drafting a new international Convention on the Elimination of Poverty Around the World (CEPAW).
Dr. L. M. Singhvi, Jain Scholar
He spoke of "pluralism … tolerance … celebrat(ing) diversity … togetherness … (and religious leaders) as the conscience keepers of society." And "A new international order that proclaims the majesty of international law … a higher society, carrying the United Nations Charter to a new level."
Unscheduled Shinto speaker
"In this global village, we sisters and brothers can join our hands for the future of mankind. We can bring down barriers of nation and culture. We can dismantle the boundaries between us…. We have a common journey…. We hope we can establish a family of the earth and establish a civilized society."
Dr. Wande Abimola, Yoruba
Priest and Scholar
"Religion has been used as a means of conquest…. Destruction of traditional places of worship is still going on…. African people have often been conquered and colonized in the name of religion."
"Leave us alone to worship the gods of our ancestors…. Essentially, no one should proselytize and try to get rid of native (indigenous) religions of the world…. I speak for all the indigenous peoples of the world who have been proselytized by imperialist religions…. No religion is more true or more valid than another. Let us do away with religious imperialism.
Earth Charter Commission Members
Dr. Steven Rockefeller, Earth
"We couldn't use the word "god" (in the Earth Charter) because there is no agreement on a definition."
"Perhaps the greatest problem we face is the lack of moral and spiritual awareness-expanded moral insight-and the willingness to act…. The religious community is fixed on transforming the inner man, but if it does not affect the social society it is very difficult to sustain."
"We are all part of one human family, with responsibilities toward one another…. Respect life in all its differences…. Care for community, with compassion, understanding…. Build just and democratic societies… Secure (preserve) earth for the future."
Dr. Kamla Chowdhry, Earth
Charter Commission [India]
"Most UN studies end up in file cabinets…. (There must be) integration of spiritual and intellectual knowledge…. Moral and ethical action should follow knowledge."
Dr. Wangari Maathai, Earth
Charter Commission [Africa]
"Establish new set of commandments" (through Earth Charter to presumably replace the Ten Commandments).
"Must be tolerant of diversity … Religious imperialism is partly due to intolerance for other religions you don't understand … god reveals itself to us in different ways … respect cultures and environment … Because of intolerance about own heritage (praying to a mountain), her people suffer (because of logging, other acts that have destroyed the mountain, water, etc.)."
"We come to you, religious leaders, because we cannot speak to God directly. That is why priests are very important. They stand between us and God and tell us what God wants us to do."
"[Christian] Scriptures tell us to subdue nature [but she equated this with destruction of the environment, so said] … priests should tell us to protect the environment."
Other Leaders who were Speakers, Panelists and Musicians
Dr. Mustafa Ceric, His Eminence,
Raisu-I-Ulama of Bosnia-Herzegovina
"Is the discovery of the law of physics more important than the discovery of the law of morality? … Are we ready to build an ark for the salvation of all now?"
His Excellency Juan Somavia,
Director General, International Labor Organization [Chile]
"People must want reconciliation … want to forgive."
"The UN is a system of governments … (but) the UN tolerates violence, conflicts."
"Should never apply sanctions that affect people, not leaders."
"A lack of political leadership leads people to conflicts."
Sanford Cloud, CEO and President,
National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ)
We must "develop communities that are more inclusive and just."
"Racism is incompatible with God's intention for humanity."
The NCCJ is a "clearinghouse of programs that are promoting racial reconciliation … have a Scriptural references booklet."
"Racism is a problem of the heart, a sin, and must be addressed."
"No social advance is inevitable. Each step toward justice takes great effort and sacrifice.
Near the close of the Peace Summit, Mr. Winter played three songs with great excellence and passion: one for the whales from the sea (based on song whales sing), one for the wolves from the land (based on a song wolves sing when all is well), and one for the birds from sky (based on a Bach piece). After concluding the wolf song, he invited the 1,000+ participants remaining to join him in a "howlellujah chorus" for unity and world peace. Immediately there arose a long and loud chorus of wolf cries from hundreds in the audience.
Conflict to Reconciliation
Unknown participant: "There can be no forgiveness and reconciliation without repentance on the part of the aggressor."
Conflict to Reconciliation: The Sudan
Dr. Douglas M. Johnston,
President, International Center for Religion and Diplomacy
"Sudan has been at war for 33 of the past 35 years…. 4 million are displaced from their homes…. More died than in any other war since World War II."
When the British colonized the nation, they created a policy of separation, dividing the North from the South. The North remained Muslim and the South became increasingly Christian. Thus the seeds of the current separation and conflict have now been sown for 50 years. Elected representatives from the North dominated the nation's General Assembly. When a unifying plan was proposed, the South finally agreed because of a provision in the new constitution allowing substantial Southern autonomy. However, the decision was made by the North to make Arabic the language for the whole nation, though most Southerners spoke English, not Arabic. The South felt backed into a corner. In 1955, several units in the Southern military command mutinied, starting armed conflicts.
Rev. Ezekiel Kutjok, Vice
Moderator, Presbyterian Church of the Sudan,
Former General Secretary, Sudan Council of Churches
Sudan is unique in the world in that it combined African and Arab, Muslim and Christian together. Sudan is potentially rich, has enormous agricultural land-was thought that it could be the bread basket for the Middle East-and produces oil. But Sudan's "potential can only be developed when there is peace."
"Why are people killing (one another) in the Sudan?
"1. People of the South feel there is an imbalance in development and national resources.
"2. There is a question of national identity: Is Sudanese an Arab? An African? A Muslim? A Christian? And this question was complicated when it became an Islamic State.
"3. Should religion be included in the State or separate? In Islam, there is no difference.
"4. There is a question of equality in religion, leading to questions of power sharing, social justice and human rights…. The participation of non-Muslim peoples was limited."
Dr. Abdul-Rahim Ali M. Ibrahim,
Director, Inter-religious Dialogue Association International Friendship
The war in Sudan is "Africa's longest war."
Sudan is multi-cultural, "large country, bordering with 9 countries," with "50 languages," though "Arabic is the official language." Language (differences) "contribute to the problems of Sudan."
The "media message is: the war in Sudan is a religious war. Not true! Sudan has a history of tolerance…. (The war is) not a conflict between Arabs and Africans…. Many conflicts are (caused by) nomads who wander with cattle looking for water, which they have done for centuries…. (There are) Muslims and Christians in government on both sides of the war."
"Why the war? (While he "agrees with Rev. Ezekiel on the causes of the war, he added):
1. "South is region in its own right. Has its own language…. Christian missions (are present). Some tension between Christians and Muslims in the South, but this is not cause of the war.
2. "Southerners have been fighting a war which is not theirs.
3. "Oil reserves discovered are mostly in the South."
The new constitution has "a provision recognizing that Sudan is a multi-ethnic nation…. (And another provision stating that) each region should enjoy the greatest part of the resources in that region, with a few exceptions.
Sudan is "looking for words for a law that would respect religious freedom for all."
He has talked "privately with Rev. Ezekiel with a high level of trust."
He and Rev. Ezekiel and other religious leaders will meet in November to mediate the conflict.
Conflict to Reconciliation: Nigeria
Chief Mrs. Winifred Awosika
"Nigeria had 32 years of military rule…. (Is) now democratic, but plagued with many conflicts. People who lived together in peace are now fighting one another…. Lots of conflicts between Christians and Muslims … between groups of Christians ... economic conflicts over oil and mineral resources…. Preachers are silent when people are in conflict."
Nigeria is "endowed with so many resources, but why are the people so poor? … Africa is rich, but now is poor…. Current leaders are stocking away money for themselves (which) leads to poverty."
Her father was Christian, uncle Muslim, and they all lived together in a traditional family home. The Christian priest "spoke against traditional (Indigenous) religions, and said only those who believe (in Jesus) will go to heaven…. Children have been brain washed, and see parents as pagans." So she has gone "back and is re-examining her (ancestors) religion."
Christians in her office resisted hearing Muslim preacher she invited, but now accept because she invites Muslim, Christian and Indigenous (preachers) to pray.
"As long as groups say my way is the only way, will have conflicts…. Need to come together…. Should be religious freedom for everyone."
Our children should be educated "to know our religious roots and traditional values. Priests should divine the truth in an oracle."
Alhaji Ado Bayero (Islam)
At each conflict, religious leaders and people of faith have intervened to stop violence.
An inter-religious council was established-organized and facilitated by the Nigerian government.
Poverty, corruption and unemployment are often the cause of the armed conflicts.
Religious groups are discouraged from aggressive (evangelizing).
Dr. Teresa Okure, SHCJ (Christianity)
"Africa does not have a problem moving from conflict to reconciliation."
She asked: "Why is the projection of Africa in world consciousness so negative … bad?"
"The conflicts in Africa are the delayed results of the partition (made) at the Berlin conference…. The political conflicts (over religion) in Europe landed in Africa, and we are adding to it…. Did Africa receive Christianity or the Gospel … The Gospel sets free, build up (etc.)."
The former leader of the nation was a tyrant. "God delivered the nation from (him) when people prayed. He could protect himself against … everything but prayer."
DITC Comment: I'm glad Anne Graham Lutz spoke about Jesus Christ saying "Jesus Christ spoke to the very problems the Summit was seeking to address. The source of the problems, according to Jesus, is in the human heart.… We must be born again, Jesus said…. Man needs a new heart, new mind, new spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness." We are very happy that Lutz said that "we must be born again", although apparently that message was not followed up by stating that "You must believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, that He is the only Son of God, that there is no other name by which men may be saved. "
However, anyone "in the know" understands that this UN sposored conference was not really about solving problems like "armed conflicts, hindrances to reconciliation, poverty and environmental degradation" as much as it was about gaining religious support for the UN's efforts at globalization. The UN wants a world religion, as is clearly evidenced by thier United Religions Initiative. They are not at all interested in what Jesus Christ had to say about issues of war and reconciliation, and they are especially not interested in any religion that claims objective truth such as true Christians do. In fact, it is my contention, that soon those who continue to preach that Jesus Christ is the only Way, Truth & Life will find themselves ultimately standing trial at the International Court of Justice, which is the UN Court that has no jury, for "crimes against humanity".
The problem with Billy Graham is that he apparently no longer thinks that there is only one name under heaven by which man can be saved. That is the real reason why he sent his daughter to the UN Millenium Peace Summit ... because they apparently believe that all "good" men will go to heaven, so we need to make this earth as "good" as possible and the UN's goals are (allegedly) in line with that kind of thinking. It makes you wonder if the Grahams have become Dominionists. Any Christian who aids and abets the UN's globalization efforts is simply giving help to the coming antichrist.
If you doubt that Billy Graham has changed his tune with regards to who will enter the kingdom of heaven, read my Letter To Billy Graham, which as of this writing on 9/16/00 has not been answered.