Russia TLIG Magazine

T R U E L I F E I N G O D 48 wherever and whatever situations we are in. Let us begin building peace within ourselves. If we are at peace with our God and if we are people of prayer God can still use us as His instrument of His peace to be reached wherever it is needed. We have simple and beautiful examples of how both sister Churches - Orthodox Christians and Catholic faithful - in a small village unite and live together peacefully with very good collaboration among themselves. It is in the Apostolic Vicariate of Jimma-Bonga in Ethiopia at the particular village called Shappa where I came from, that we have an ecumenical Church where once or twice a month people of two groups of the faithful come together for the last 30 years, worship together, pray together, celebrate together and hold discussions on various issues and look for common solutions for common problems. They walk and work together. Is it not beautiful? During the 1st World War, when nations proclaimed enmity among the nations and destroyed each other by the troubled war and, during the midst of trouble and fighting between two countries, that was France and Germany, the great news came to the soldiers that it was December 25, it was the day of Peace, it was the day where the prince of peace Jesus Christ was born. “Christmas.” Hearing such a great message, both enemies put their weapon aside, embraced each other, exchanged the sign of peace with each other, sang the Christmas song together “Joy to the world, the Lord has come” and spent the day together celebrating. Isn’t this beautiful. Peace is essential and the base for everything. Without peace we walk on doubts and confusions and even at risk but with Peace we have everything especially the Almighty God on our side. InEthiopia,the countrywhere I come from,the leaders of the different denominations in collaboration with the government of Ethiopia established an inter-faith forum office at national and diocesan level where they come together from time to time and discuss peaceful co-existence among the religions and walk and work together for the common matters of the country. We see this as good example to be encouraged. We all need peace and let us work together for peace and harmony. Let Peace be one of our priorities. “Serving God requires convictions and self-sacrifice.” Grace to you, peace and blessing from the Giver of blessings and the God of graces and bounties. I am Archbishop George of the Greek Orthodox Church in the city of Homs - Syria. I have been very hesitant about this speech that I have sent to you as an expression of my contribution to this pilgrimage that you are doing in the city of Moscow in the blessed land of Russia. My first question , lovingly, and I am not an expert in such meetings: where do we get to through these initiatives? Are they just meetings and exchange of speeches, shaking hands and compliments in front of the cam- eras and all the media? To whom is the journey of this pilgrimage directed in life, as suggested by the title of the gathering? If the answer implies that we turn to each other, this is good and beautiful and very important, but is this the aim? I am responsible in my church for my people and be- lieving in what I live and experience, the dialogue of the daily life that I live with my brothers is the living and sincere expression of a beautiful vision that out- weighs any discussion, no matter how important it is, on the intellectual, theological and religious levels. Everyday life between members of society from all walks of life, regardless of differences and disparities, transcends in its human dimension any difference in color, race, religion or denomination. My second question is : How do I look at the hu- man being that I live with, and with whom I share our daily food? More than that, we drink the same water and we also breathe the same air. Do I consider him different from me and a stranger to me? The Most Reverend George Abou Zakhm Archbishop of Homs - Syria Antiochian Greek Orthodox Church How to bridge our divisions and bring peace to the world

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