Irish Faith Leaders Issue Joint Declaration on the Dignity of Human Life in the Holy Land
Irish Faith Leaders have issued a plea for an end to violence and loss of life in the Middle East and pledged to work together to promote peace and deepen understanding. Seventeen representatives of the three Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) in Ireland signed a Joint Declaration for Peace and Respect for the Dignity of Human Life in the Holy Land and presented it to the Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Most Revd Suheil Dawani in the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation on Monday 5 December.
In the declaration they said they shared grief and pain at the death and suffering currently taking place in the Middle East, impacting dreadfully upon civilian populations and prayed for peace throughout the region.
“It is both the aspiration and the right of all people to live in freedom and security without fear. People of all faiths are equally entitled to enjoy such things and yet each sees the other as denying that right to the other with a consequent spiral of violence. Our prayer and plea is for this spiral to be broken and safety and security to be restored to all with a new beginning established through a commitment to parity of esteem in both politics and society,” the declaration reads.
The Faith Leaders were among about 60 people from religious, political and community backgrounds who gathered in Glencree for an event entitled ‘Milestones on a Journey of Hope’. It recognised the ongoing suffering which continues to affect many parts of the Middle East, and offered an opportunity to explore and reflect with them on some of the experiences of Ireland’s journey out of violence into the hope of a brighter future. The event took place in honour of the visit of the Archbishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, the Most Revd Suheil Dawani, to the Church of Ireland Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough. The Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem encompasses Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Syria and Lebanon.
Will Devas CEO of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation said: “It was a privilege to bring to Glencree political, religious and community representatives to talk and listen to each other about the challenges of building peace and to facilitate Irish Faith Leaders in making a joint declaration for peace and respect for the dignity of human life in the Middle East”.
In their declaration the Faith Leaders said: “Today together we send our collective message of hope for peace to our brothers and sisters in across the Middle East who yearn to live in freedom and peace. We join with them and all people of faith in the region: Jewish, Christian and Muslim, seeking a just and durable peace, rooted in reconciling love for all the people of the land that is called “holy” by each of the Abrahamic faiths.”
Archbishop Dawani and his Chaplain, Canon David Longe, visited the United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough from December 1 to 7. Their visit was part of the Jerusalem Link partnership between the dioceses of Jerusalem and Dublin & Glendalough.
Glencree, founded in 1974, is dedicated to transforming violent conflict and building peace with a vision of a shared world, where all can live free from violence and conflicts are resolved peacefully.Glencree works to deepen reconciliation and build an inclusive society on the island of Ireland and shares its experiences internationally to help others transform their own violent conflicts.
The declaration was signed by:
The Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson – Archbishop of Dublin, Church of Ireland
Fr Timothy Bartlett – Secretary General for the World Meeting of Families
Dr Susan Hood – Librarian and Archivist of the RCB Library
Mr Siraj Zaidi – Ahlul Bayt Islamic Centre of Ireland and Founder Member of Three Faiths Forum.
Revd Gary Mason – Founder/Director Rethinking Conflict
Revd Damien McNeice – Master of Ceremonies for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Sheikh Dr Umar Al–Qadri – Ameer/Head Imam, Al–Mustafa Islamic Educational & Cultural Centre Ireland
Revd. Dr William Olhausen – Rector, St. Matthias and Theological Advisor to the Archbishop of Dublin
Revd Bill Mullally – President – Methodist Church in Ireland
Rabbi Zalman Lent – Communal Rabbi for Irish Jewish Community
Revd John Parkin – Methodist, Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel
Dr Ali Al–Saleh – Imam, Ahlul Bayt Islamic Centre of Ireland
Dr Paul Manook – Chairman, Parish Council Armenian Church in Ireland
Revd Ken Rue – Chair, Diocesan Council for Mission – Church of Ireland
Rt Revd Dr Alan Harper – Armagh Educational & Community Village Project
Revd Desmond Sinnamon – Rt. Priest & Rector and Founder Member of Three Faiths Forum.
Monseigneur Dermot Lane – Mater Dei Institute and Balally Parish
Top – The signatories of the Glencree Declaration.
Middle – Some of the people who attended the ‘Milestones on a Journey of Hope’ event in Glencree.
Bottom – The Glencree Declaration.