Current Events – Make Friends

June 14, 2017 —Many of the world’s most prominent religious leaders made a joint statement encouraging people everywhere to make friends across religions. Friendship and getting to know one another are the antidotes to negativity and divisions in society, enhancing understanding and unity. The following quotes are from each of the leaders:

“We are called, as we like to say, to look into one another’s eyes in order to see more deeply and in order to recognize the beauty of God in every living human being.” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomewi (Orthodox: Turkey)

“Our advice is to make friends to followers of all religions.” Ayatollah Sayyid Fadhel Al-Milani (Shia, UK)

“It’s very important, because my religious life became richer with his explanations, so much richer and I guess the same happened for him.” Pope Francis (Rome)

“It was through our religious calling that we found each other in life.” Rabbi Abraham Skorka (Argentina)

“No matter from which side of the mountain you’re climbing we should be helping each other so that we can all get to the same place.” Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh (Sikh, UK)

“And don’t focus on or search for differences between religious groups.” Grand Mufti Shawki Allam (Sunni, Egypt)

“Personal contact, personal friendship, then we can exchange a deeper level of experience.” The Dalai Lama (India)

“Honor other religions like you do your own.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (India)

“We need to get together and know one another just to discover and explore those commonalities.” Ayatollah Sayyid Hassan Al-Qazwini (Shia, United States)

“That starts a process where prejudices go away where new insights are born and where basically hope is born.” Archbisop Antje Jackelen (Church of Sweden)

“It’s not complicated. I would say to everyone: Start with sharing what we all share which is the pleasure of conversation.” Archbishop Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury)

“One of the wonderful things about spending time with people completely unlike you is that you discover how much you have in common, the same fears, the same hopes, the same concerns.” Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (UK)

“I think it will keep it very simple, it’s probably time to talk less, listen more.” Ven. Khandro Rinpoche (Buddhist, India)

“May universal friendship become a reality.” Mata Amritanandamayi (India)

Jesus said, “A am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 15:6).

“The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. …

“Papists, Protestants, and worldling will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.” Maranatha, 190.