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Foreign Minister Gabriel: foreign policy should make greater use of religions’ peacemaking potential

09.09.2017

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement in Berlin today (9 September) on the occasion of the Paths of Peace meeting hosted by the Catholic lay organisation, Community of Sant’Egidio, in Münster and Osnabrück:

Religions have enormous potential to foster peace in societies. They have a profound knowledge of guilt, forgiveness and reconciliation, as well as the capacity to bring about equity and justice in societies. In view of the many conflicts around the world, we would like to make greater use of this peacemaking potential than we have done so far. The Community of Sant’Egidio is an important partner for us as regards promoting de-escalation and understanding worldwide via religion.

Background information:

High‑level religious officials and politicians from all over the world are meeting in Münster and Osnabrück from 10 to 12 September at the Paths of Peace convention hosted by the Catholic lay organisation, Community of Sant’Egidio. The Federal Foreign Office supports this organisation’s global endeavours to foster peace, particularly in the fields of mediation and reconciliation processes.

In its Responsibility of the Religions for Peace initiative, the Federal Foreign Office is conducting a close and organised dialogue with representatives of different faiths from a large number of countries and regions. The aim is to discuss the various religions’ potential to foster peace in society in their regions and to link this potential more closely with German foreign policy. The long‑term goal is to work with different faiths and faith‑based organisations with shared interests such as peace and stability as strategic partners in a sustainable network. Endeavours in this field form part of Germany’s cultural relations and education policy. The first event was a conference in Berlin from 21 to 23 May attended by over 100 representatives of religions from 53 countries.

Further information:

Responsibility of the religions for peace

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