Unifying Vision of One Family under God
Jakarta, Indonesia - October 18, 2010
The world today stands on the threshold of a crucial moment in history. Humanity is face to face with a crisis of spirit. The new millennium has opened with the unnerving spectre of aggravating identity-based conflicts on grounds of nationality, ethnicity, religion and tribal affiliations at a time when the spirit of globalization is having a dramatic impact on all aspects of human life in every continent. These is an imperative need to clarify the shared principles and values that can form the basis of social cohesion.<>
Whereas human ingenuity, intellect and creativity has in the past millennia built up civilizations which have enlightened human hearts and minds towards creative endeavors; at the same time the world has been plagued by intolerance, ignorance, hatred, mistrust, bigotry, discrimination, and ravaged by ethnic, racial, religious, economic, social, and political conflicts.
Whereas religions and faiths have been fountain-springs of spiritually-inspired peaceful life ethics; at the same time religious rivalries and ethnic conflicts have spread intolerance and violence thus blurring the unifying vision of social cohesion of humanity as one family under God.
Whereas tremendous advances in science and technology have created a glamour world of materialistic comforts; at the same time they have been misused for producing nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and a rampant armament race with tremendous allocation of resources which could be directed to overcome poverty, inequity, disease, ignorance, illiteracy and hunger.
Whereas different religions have, in idea, the world as one family under God, we have not carried it out in practice. Into this vacuum, the possessive, exploitative, abusive, and discriminatory instincts of humanity have divided our world.
Whereas in recent times leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gus Our (KH Abdurrahman Wahid) have courageously and effectively used non-violent resistance for gaining political independence, ending apartheid, championing compassion in action, fighting racial discrimination; and tirelessly advocating multiculturalism, at the same time the world has drifted towards escalating violence and terrorism engulfing humanity in a syndrome of insecurity, hostility and intolerance. The world has lost the hold of our common human identity and the unifying shared values that bring about a cohesive society.
On the occasion of the Global Interfaith Summit held in Jakarta, Indonesia from the 15th to the 18th of October, 2010, sponsored by the Global Peace Festival Foundation and Nahdlatul Ulama, we the participants from all over the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, solemnly pledge:
• To commit ourselves with courage and resolve to forge vibrant and meaningful interfaith partnerships and programs for promoting universal social cohesion based on our common identity, shared values, principles, and morals to overcome ethnic, religious, gender, social and cultural barriers.
• To arouse a spirit of unity and conciliation in place of conflict and confrontation, equity and fair play in place of exploitation towards all human beings irrespective of color, gender, creed, religion, ethnicity or geographical location.
• To design innovative programs for interfaith grassroots projects in healthcare, education, disaster relief, poverty amelioration, enhancing employability, environmental care, drug-addiction elimination and promotion of family values as the common ground for action-oriented interfaith partnerships.
• To implement such programs at local, regional and national levels in respective countries, as well as to conceive bilateral or multi-lateral interfaith projects initiating meaningful social welfare projects of relevance to economically-disadvantaged socially and physically handicapped sections of society.
• To collect, collate and determine the best practices through various case studies of interfaith initiatives within partnering countries and shared on a global stage.
• To persuade faith leaders to playa more significant role in educating and encouraging their followers towards a lifestyle of service above self covering the needy and the deserving beyond the narrow boundaries that presently divide the various religious communities.
• To undertake with vigour and persuasive endeavor the task of inculcating in all sections of society and more particularly among the youth ethical and moral values of compassion, piety, charity, generosity and integrity.
• To educate youth leaders to engage the youth in personal transformative experiences, especially those that build bridges of friendship, understanding, and harmonious integration transcending barriers of religion, ethnicity and social status.
• To evolve models of effective youth engagements in interfaith action in the fields of peace building, healthcare, education, social reforms, family bonding and environmental care.
• To orient the upcoming young generation in schools and colleges towards compassion in action through the medium of voluntary compassion clubs run by students under the guidance of teachers. Such initiatives will be instrumental in shaping the mindset of the youth towards ethical conduct, moral behavior, equity, and fair play to supplement their academic education.
• To establish linkages with selected civil society organizations in each country who may already be engaged in interfaith projects in their limited spheres. Networking with such efforts would create a constructive base for a leap forward in interfaith cooperative endeavors.
• And as such, this unifying vision of one family under God will spread the message at all levels and in all age groups of society of humanity sharing a common future as well as common identity transcending barriers of nationality, ethnicity, religion or creed, and the tapping of people's creativity energy for building vibrant interfaith partnerships and creative engagements.
On the occasion of the Global Peace Leadership Conference, convened in Jakarta from October 15-18, 2010, under the sponsorship of the Global Peace Festival Foundation and Nahdlatul Ulama.