Peace and justice are within the world’s grasp. But they must be pursued together, as one vision. This essential interdependence will be a key focus at the Parliament. Indeed, there is a growing recognition that by addressing pressing issues of social justice, religious and spiritual communities may be more effective than ever before. The 2009 Parliament was proud to offer a wide array of expert and diverse perspectives on how we can move the world closer to realizing the vision of a world at peace.
A sampling of programs includes:
Through Portuguese, Japanese, and Indonesian occupation the Timorese people struggled to maintain their spiritual values. As they emerge from colonialism, the Timorese have revived traditional beliefs surrounding the Uma Lulik (sacred house) that harmonizes the worlds of the living and of the dead. This program presented this spiritual revival as an integral part of the process of healing from the trauma of the past.
The Dayton Peace Accords stopped the bloodshed but did not resolve the underlying tensions in the former Yugoslavia. Settling these deeper conflicts requires new communication skills, new relationships based on trust, and a common vision for the future. This program explored options for achieving inter-ethnic/religious coexistence at the local level in order to build a peaceful future for Southeastern Europe.
Vjekoslav Saje, Mr. Will Richard, Davidovic Sena, Petar Obradovic
When we build bridges of dialogue, recognize our shared humanity and work to overcome injustice in the world, peace is not only a dream; but an attainable reality.
Throughout the world, religious communities and peacemakers are making a significant impact locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The 2009 Parliament recognized these successes, and shared real-world approaches, tactics and strategies that work. We also heard from these peacemakers from diverse conflict areas around the globe. Their stories underline the importance of the interfaith movement in building the bonds of trust, cooperation, and understanding that are essential to peacemaking and are at the heart of the Melbourne Parliament of the World’s Religions.