Bishop Younan was in Sweden to attend the installation of the new Swedish Archbishop Anders Wejryd. He then addressed a Swedish conference on the role of Religion in Conflicts. The Bishop said that religion has been kidnapped by politics, and he is frustrated that religion is more frequently used to cause political conflicts rather than solve them.
The Bishop reiterated his belief that it is the underlying injustices of our world and the failure of moderate religious leaders to address them that is fueling the growth in extremist religions. The greed and narrow self-interest of the Western world is allowing Islam to portray itself as the only religion that stands for justice in that arena. The Western world’s emphasis on democracy is misplaced, according to the Bishop, because justice must come first. He pointed to the US invasion of Iraq as an example of what happens when you try to force a country into democracy, then hand out Bibles after the invasion. It doesn’t work.