England: Religious Leaders Call for Cooperation to Combat Poverty

June 9, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Episcopal Life


The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, June 9 hosted religious leaders of different faiths to discuss the power of multi-religious cooperation to combat poverty and achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Williams is a co-president of Religions for Peace, the largest multi-religious coalition.

"Mobilizing the world's religious communities in common action is critically important at a time when the human family faces grave threats to peace, such as violent conflict, extreme poverty, and climate change," Williams said in his address to members of the global Religions for Peace network at Lambeth Palace.

"If the international community is to meet its collective commitment to halve poverty and hunger by 2015, religious communities must work together on the basis of shared moral concern and marshal their considerable capacity for advocacy and for service delivery, particularly in the field of education, to alleviate poverty," the Archbishop said, observing that U.K. religious leaders and Anglican bishops from around the world will join in a Walk of Witness in London on July 24 to demonstrate their determination to help end extreme poverty across the globe.

The archbishop highlighted the potential of faith-based education to create a culture of peace and spoke out against violence targeting religious communities and institutions.

"When prominent religious leaders of all faiths, like the Archbishop of Canterbury, exercise their moral authority by speaking out and acting together, they can have a decisive impact on issues such as violent conflict, extreme global poverty and deteriorating food security," said the Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, moderator of Religions for Peace and director of external affairs for the Orthodox Church in America. "Multi-religious cooperation is essential for building peace wherever it is threatened."