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Video: Egypt’s Grand Mufti & global religious leaders promote ‘Make Friends’ initiative

Saturday 17-06-2017 - 02:48 PM
Al-Bawaba & Mohamed Arabi
The world’s most
The world’s most prominent religious leaders call on everyone to #MakeFriends across religions. See more @ElijahInt.

Vatican– In an extraordinary appeal this week, top religious leaders from across the world called for inter-religious friendships “to counter misperceptions, prejudices and distrust” between peoples.

Reaching out to people of other religions can be both challenging and enriching for individuals and is the only hope for true peace in the world, said a variety of religious leaders, including Pope Francis.

The pope and his friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka appear in a video montage and together in their own video as part of the "Make Friends" initiative coordinated by the Elijah Interfaith Institute of Dallas.

In a three-minute video made in partnership with Twitter, the petitioners — including Pope Francis, Former UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the Dalai Lama and Egyptian Grand Mufti Shawki Allam — disseminated their message in 16 different languages.

Former UK Chief Rabbi
Former UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

In their video, Francis and Skorka talk about how their own religious convictions led them into conversations with each other, and how those conversations not only increased their understanding of God and formed the basis of a television series and book, but also led to true friendship.

The initiative, organized by the Elijah Interfaith Institute under the slogan #MakeFriends, seeks to “reduce social tension around the world by stimulating interpersonal contact between people of different faiths,” according to a statement from the institute.

The video was released on Wednesday during a London conference organized by the institute to launch the effort.

Explaining the "Make Friends" initiative, the Elijah Interfaith Institute said, "Friendship and getting to know one another are the antidotes to negativity and divisions in society, enhancing understanding and unity."

To learn more about the Elijah Interfaith Institute and the "Make Friends" initiative, visit http://elijah-interfaith.org/

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