One Thousand Religious Leaders to Gather at the United Nations in a Historic Summit for World Peace



New York-[July 25, 2000]-For the first time in history, religious and spiritual leaders of the world's diverse faith traditions will come together in New York on August 28th to discuss how to forge a partnership of peace with the United Nations. More than 1,000 leaders are expected. The goal of the Religious Summit is to identify ways that the worldwide religious and spiritual communities can work together as interfaith allies with the United Nations on specific peace, poverty and environmental initiatives.

All regions of the world will be represented, as will the major faith traditions of Bahai, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Indigenous, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism and Zoroastrianism.

The Religious Summit convening on August 28th, at the United Nations, will bring together recognized religious and spiritual figures including religious leaders from current zones of conflict - such as Sierra Leone, the Balkans, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Philippines, Rwanda and Sudan - to discuss the roles they can play in reducing religious tensions. The Summit is being convened by an independent group of interfaith leaders, religious scholars and theologians.

Confirmed participants include:

  • His Excellency Francis Cardinal Arinze-President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue at the Vatican
  • Venerable Samdech Preah Maha Gosananda-the Buddhist Nobel Prize nominee
  • His Excellency Abdullah Salaih Al-Obaid-Secretary General of the Muslim World League
  • Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau-Chief Rabbi of Israel
  • His Excellency Dr. Mustafa Ceric-The Grand Mufti of Bosnia
  • Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz-Leading Talmudic Scholar
  • Reverend Konrad Raiser-Secretary-General of The World Council of Churches
  • His Eminence Sheik Ahmad Kuftaro-The Grand Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic
  • His Grace Njongonkulu Ndungane-The Archbishop of Cape Town
  • His Holiness Abune Paulos-Patriarch of Ethiopia
  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati-representing the Shankracharya in India
  • Her Holiness Mata Ammritanandamayi Devi-Hindu leader
  • Reverend Jesse Jackson-Christian Leader and Special Envoy to President Clinton
  • Chief Oren Lyons-Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation
  • His Holiness Karekin II-Patriarch of the Armenian Church

The occasion will assemble leaders rarely seen together at religious gatherings, such as the Jingu Daiguji of the Grand Shrine at Ise, the Patriarch of Thailand, and Chief Patriarch Ehsin Watanabe of Mount Hiei from the Tendai School of Buddhism in Japan. Numerous spiritual leaders from the indigenous traditions around the world-such as Andean leaders from the line of the Incas-are also planning to participate.

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