American U.N. Ambassador Urges Dialogue Between Religious Leaders

September 13, 2004

Source: The New York Times

On September 13, 2004 The New York Times reported, "John C. Danforth, the American ambassador to the United Nations, says he is actively trying to create a new forum for leaders of the world's faiths to involve themselves in resolving the conflicts in a world of terror. 'The focus of the U.N. has been to discuss issues between nations, whereas a lot of the conflict in the world today is not between nations but between nations and people who feel they are commanded by God to shoot children and blow up buses,' Mr. Danforth, 68, an Episcopal minister and a former United States senator who took up his present post on July 1, said in an interview on Friday. In the interview, Mr. Danforth said he was deeply troubled by the silence from religious leaders in the face of acts like the school siege in Russia last week in which hostage takers attacked students trying to flee... He said there was nowhere to bring forward religious grievances and have them publicly discussed and, possibly, reconciled. 'What is needed,' he said, 'is a much stronger voice from the faith community, some kind of place or forum for mediating religious conflict and involving the participation of people of faith.'"