Russia TLIG Magazine

T R U E L I F E I N G O D 50 Bishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh The Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs, Hama and Tartus At the outset, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to those who have invited us to this brotherly gathering, which brings together all reli- gions in an atmosphere of love, brotherhood and co- operation under one roof, to find the real common means of bringing about peace and security in a world of war and various conflicts under the pretext of re- ligion, while religion is innocent. Denominational strife, terrorist and takfirist (declaring one as infidel) ideas have risen, and a world in which poli- tics, economy, trade and the interests of states are mired at the expense of other coun- tries, victimizing the weak and the poor. A world in which every country uses religion to achieve its goals with weak excuses: democracy, hu- man freedom, freedom of religions, the requirements of societies... They are like meek lambs but inwardly they are fero- cious wolves, and the victim of all that is the human being who is the beautiful creature of God and the central subject of life, of the universe and of religions. Every one of us builds their humanity according to their religion and according to their beliefs and their social, cultural, educational and human customs. They consider that by doing that they are achieving God’s purpose and here we see many tragedies generated by religions for lack of understanding, lack of dialogue and for being distant from each other. Therefore, attention and efforts have to turn towards dialogue to overcome many of the problems of life at all levels. Religion is, in fact, the main component and reformer of human civilization and its identity. That is because religion is considered as the only thing that provides it with the values ​ and ideals that help it achieve its existence, development, strength, legitimacy and permanence in history, and that in its absence, all the rest is disrupted. With this pivotal role of religion in the life of human society, it often finds itself at the center of the accusation because it is one of the causes of conflict, fighting and genocide among human com- munities and it is responsible for the occurrence of such human tragedies. It is no wonder that we have turned towards interfaith dialogue and have pinned our hopes on reaching a successful solution that puts an end to these tragedies; and the truth is,as the well-knownGer- man Catholic theo- logian Hans Kung said: “There will be no peace among the na- tions without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions.” Is it possible that the problem is with the religions because of the lack of dialogue among them? Is dia- logue the peaceful solution to religions? What are the bridges of encounter between them? The problem, in our opinion, is not the absence of dialogue between religions but the real problem lies in that new phenomenon represented by the blatant conflict of religions. This phenomenon has become increasingly acute since the dominance of the lethal secular ideology of the need to separate religion from the state and public affairs of society, declaring that religion is the opium of the people and preaching the death of God. This aggressive wave against religion has expressed itself through intense efforts and in- tensive organized attempts through international po- litical reports and other media, to paint an ugly and isolated image of religion as the source of all evils in the world. This meeting is a workshop to promote understand- ing, cooperation and respect for religious and cultural pluralism in order to combat conflict and strife and instill faith in the face of atheism, and peace in the face of wars, and fraternity in the face of racism. We must defend human dignity in building a peaceful coexistence among peoples and in protecting creation How to bridge our divisions and bring peace to the world