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10th World Assembly

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Facts and Figures

The 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace between 19 to 23 August in Lindau aims to achieve a global impact. There is expected to be a total of 900 representatives from various world religions, governments and civil society (including NGOs and multilateral institutions). This also includes high-ranking religious representatives from Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Islam, Sikh, Shintoism, Taoism and Zoroastrianism as well as indigenous groups whose aim is encourage interfaith religious action for the common good. What is more, representatives of government, international organizations, charitable foundations and civil society will participate in the assembly. It provides the framework for forging partnerships between various stakeholders for the benefit of the common good as well as for in-depth exchange about significant achievements with regard to peace, development and security. The 10th World Assembly will be inaugurated by the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

1. What is Religions for Peace?

Accredited to the United Nations, Religions for Peace (RfP) is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition promoting joint action among the world’s religious communities for peace. RfP builds peace by working to transform violent conflict, advance just and harmonious societies, further human development, protect the earth and foster shared wellbeing.

2. For how long has Religions for Peace existed?

The origins of RfP date to 1961, when a number of senior leaders from the world’s major faith traditions began to explore the possibility of organizing a “religious summit.” They strongly felt that believers around the world should take action towards achieving world peace. RfP convened for the first time in Kyoto, Japan between 16 and 21 October 1970. For more than 40 years, RfP has continued to unite people of faith in order to cooperate for peace.

3. Who is behind Religions for Peace?

The global RfP network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world; six regional inter-religious bodies and more than 90 national ones; and the Global Women of Faith Network and Global Interfaith Youth Network.

4. What are the aims of Religions for Peace?

RfP advances common action among the world’s religious communities for peace by working to transform violent conflict, advance just and harmonious societies, further human development, protect the earth and foster shared wellbeing.

  • RfP builds and equips inter-religious councils at the local, national, regional and global levels.
  • RfP mobilizes religious communities locally, nationally, regionally and globally to cooperate as key actors for peace.
  • RfP has a strong track record of fostering effective inter-religious collaboration in the most challenging situations worldwide.

Guiding principles?

The RfP network advances multi-religious cooperation consistent with five guiding principles:

  1. Respect religious differences.
  2. Challenge deeply entrenched and widely shared values.
  3. Preserve the identity of each religious community.
  4. Honor the different ways religious communities are organized.
  5. Link and help coordinate multi-religious action on local, national, regional and global levels

5. Which successes has Religions for Peace achieved in the past?

RfP’s national, regional and international multi-religious networks provide an effective mechanism for implementing projects and activities from the grassroots right through to national, regional and global levels. This multi-level approach is uniquely holistic, flexible when responding quickly to changing circumstances, and highly efficient in terms of harnessing local resources and sustaining community-led actions.

To cite only a few of many illustrative examples:

Climate Change and Natural Disasters: In response to the natural disasters in Haiti, Japan and Nepal, RfP worked with religious communities in the affected areas to assist them in relief and recovery efforts. This entailed, among other things, providing grief counseling, distributing emergency supplies and establishing multi-sectoral referral system for urgently needed services provided by different sectors of society. RfP also engages religious communities in order to advocate for a strong global climate treaty through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Empowering Women: RfP is advancing Restoring Dignity, a global initiative dedicated to engaging faith-based organizations, religious leaders, communities and individuals of faith for common action to end violence against women.

Conflict Transformation

Over the years RfP has acquired high levels of experience in a number of conflict areas including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Burundi, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the Mano River and Great Lakes African sub-regions, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Iraq, Israel and Palestine and Syria.

6. What is the Religions for Peace World Assembly, and who is assembling?

The Assembly under the theme, “Caring for our Common Future – Advancing Shared Well-being”, will be global in scale, multi-stakeholder in composition, and action-oriented. Some 900 senior religious leaders, youth and women of faith from over 100 countries will be joined by 100 representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society groups to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships for the common good.

7. Where have past World Assemblies taken place?

  1. Anja – Kyoto, Japan (1970)
  2. Leuven, Belgium (1974)
  3. Princeton, USA (1979)
  4. Nairobi, Kenya (1984)
  5. Melbourne, Australia (1989)
  6. Rome/Riva del Garde, Italy (1994)
  7. Amman, Jordan (1999)
  8. Kyoto, Japan (2006)
  9. Vienna, Austria (2013)
  10. Lindau, Germany (2019)

8. What is the main objective of the Religions for Peace 10th World Assembly in Lindau?

The Religions for Peace 10th World Assembly provides a safe place to unite religious leaders and other relevant stakeholders from countries and areas of conflict for multi-religious mediation and negotiations.
The World Assembly will be entitled “Caring for Our Common Future – Advancing Shared Well-Being”, with subtopics being:

  • Advancing peace by transforming violent conflict
  • Advancing peace by promoting just and harmonious societies
  • Advancing peace by working for sustainable, integral human development
  • Advancing peace by protecting the earth

Major objectives of the Assembly include the development of an agenda with tangible agreements regarding the assumption of responsibility.
In addition to this, the World Assembly will elect the new Religions for Peace World Council of 60 religious leaders, who come from all continents and major religions. The World Council is a global agent of action with its International Secretariat located in the United Nations Plaza in New York City.

9. Why was Lindau chosen as the Assembly location?

It is no coincidence that the 10th World Assembly is taking place in Germany. Close attention was focused on how Germany has worked to provide leadership with respect to the greatest challenges of our day—from migration, conflict and the environment. Lindau is on the shores of Lake Constance, which links three countries: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. What is more, the assembly builds on a civilizing heritage that was started by monks who arrived here from Ireland and France 1,400 years ago. Guests from all over the world will meet in a truly wholesome environment that calls on us to urgently collaborate to protect our earth as part of a holistic vision of Peace.

10. Who is organizing the Religions for Peace 10th World Assembly in Lindau?

For the realization of the World Assembly in Germany, the Foundation Peace Dialogue of the World Religions and Civil Society was founded by the couple Monika and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schürer, serving as its Chairman and Ulrich Schneider as Executive Director. He organized the 10th World Assembly together with a small team located in Lindau and Berlin, and in close partnership with the Religions for Peace office in New York. Within the German Federal Foreign Office, the division “Religion and Foreign Policy” supports the project as well as the Bavarian State Ministry.

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Key Topics

The delegates of the 10th World Assembly dealt with the following topics: Potential – Effective action, together against radicalization and escalation; Climate change – an existential issue; Religions as “Trustees of Knowledge” against Fake News.

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Facts and Figures

What is Religions for Peace? Where is Religions for Peace located? Who is behind it and what goals does Religions for Peace pursue? What are the World Assemblies, how often do they take place and who is invited to them. Everything you want to know about the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace can be found here.

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Women’s Pre-Assembly

One day before the start of the general assembly, representatives of the world religions met for the Religions for Peace women preliminary assembly. This event offered a crucial platform for reflection, discussion and mobilization with regard to the role of women in interfaith cooperation.

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Youth Pre-Assembly

One day before the start of the general assembly, around 100 leading youth representatives of the religions from six regional networks met for the youth pre-assembly. Young people are an essential part of the Religions for Peace network. They bring energy, innovation and ingenuity to the movement.

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Stories

50 years ago, representatives of various denominations founded Religions for Peace. Their goal: to create peace across all confessional borders. A look back shows how much the challenges have changed since then.