Jerusalem faith leaders Bishop Munib Younan, Sheikh al Tamimi, the Chief Islamic Justice in Jerusalem, and Rabbi David Rosen, the International Director of Inter-Religious Relations with the American Jewish Committee and the International Jewish Committee, were among the faith leaders gathered at the World Conference of Religions for Peace 8th General Assembly in Kyoto, Japan, in the end of August. The Assembly ended on 29 August with 800 delegates from more than 100 countries and all major religious traditions endorsing the Kyoto Declaration on Confronting Violence and Advancing Shared Security.
“At a time when religion is being hijacked by extremists, the religious leaders gathered in Kyoto demonstrate for all the world the power of religious communities to illuminate the path to peace when they work together,” said William F. Vendley, secretary general of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) who read out the declaration at the end of the meeting.
“The Kyoto Declaration offers a new vision of shared security that properly places religious communities at the centre of efforts to confront violence in all its forms,” said Vendley, a Roman Catholic from the United States.
Read the full Kyoto Declaration
During the conference, special meetings of Christians, Muslims and Jews were organized to discuss the problems in the Middle East. Bishop Younan said he believed the Oslo peace accords between Israelis and Palestinians in 1993 failed have failed because there was no religious input into them.
“Religion should play a positive role and be a driving force of solution for the sufferer,” Bishop Munib Younan said.