Gathered in Madrid for the Sant’Egidio International Meeting for Peace, men and women of the world’s different religions have cried: “God does not want separation among brothers. God does not want wars”.

Driving the news

In a joint appeal for peace at the end of the three day meet, the religious leaders lamented the plight of the millions of people today “who are left out of the world’s prosperity, in the midst of wars, in lands where nothing grows any more, as if they were not men and women like us”.

“We are worried for future generations, because we see the only planet for all being consumed as if it belonged only to few people”, the representatives denounced.

The believers added their concern for the “re-emergence of the cult of force and nationalistic divisions, that have caused great destructions throughout history”, and for the continued presence of a terrorism that continues to target the helpless.

“The dream of Peace seems to have grown weaker”, the meeting participants decried.

The big picture

“In an increasingly interdependent world, the old temptation that we can solve great problems by ourselves is reviving”, the Sant’Egidio appeal continued.

“Wars and peace, epidemics, security and cybersecurity, the displacement of populations, the planet’s sustainability and global warming, the task to end the nuclear risk and the reduction of inequalities are far larger than one single nation’s scope”.

In the face of these challenges, the religious representatives gathered in Madrid recommended two simple steps: “dialogue and cooperation”.

“We cannot leave the weakest ones behind the wall of indifference, those struck down by violence and contempt because they are different, pray or speak in another language.

“We cannot let air, water, land and human resources be carelessly wasted: otherwise, unbearable burdens and bills are passed on to future generations”, the believers cried.

What’s next

The Sant’Egidio delegates called on world governments “to provide the resources to prevent millions of children dying each year for the lack of healthcare, and to send to school millions of children who do not have access to education”.

“This will be a sign of hope for everybody”, they said.

“We must not hide ourselves behind a wall of indifference!

“God does not want separation among brothers. God does not want wars. We have learned that: those who employ God’s name to justify war, violence and terrorism, are desecrating God’s name”.

Why it matters

The Sant’Egidio participants said that, in our increasingly interconnected ‘common home’ today, believers and men and women of goodwill have two choices: “either to work for the spiritual unification, which total economic globalization has failed to produce; or, to be exploited by those who sanctify borders and conflicts”.

“We commit to praying”, the believers said.

“We ask, for the world and for us all the gift of God’s eyes that release us from blindness and make us recognize the others as brothers and sisters.

“We ask God for the patient strength of dialogue, the power of a wise and meek language that speaks to the heart and dissolves separation and antagonism”.

“Peace with no borders is the deep need of our world”, the religious representatives concluded.

“With God’s help and with prayer, Peace with no borders is possible”.

Next on Novena:

Pope: “We must all unite at this difficult time for the world”