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Religions of the Middle East have to bring people together without dividing them … Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s clarion call

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith

Colombo’s Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has observed that the three great religions of the Middle East — Islam, Judaism and Christianity — have to learn and bring people together without dividing them, and the world powers must not meddle in the region.

He added that even in our country this is the situation. If we want to have world peace, we must have no more war. And war can be prevented by accepting the differences between us. We must tolerate one another and reach out positively to one another appreciating our differences.

Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith made this observation delivering a keynote address at the Christmas event held at the Palestinian embassy recently.

Palestine Ambassador Zuhair Dar Zaid, Bethlehem Parish priest Louis Hazboun and other dignitaries lit a lamp brought down from Bethelehem.

During his adress, The Cardinal said:

“Another name of Jerusalem is Yum Shalom, meaning city of peace. Major monotheistic religions have their most sacred places in Jerusalem: The al Aqsa mosque, the Wailing Wall and the Church of the Crucifixion. These places are close to each other.

But for thousands of years, this country has not experienced peace and it continues not to experience peace even now because of certain policies of dominance which are going on this holy territory.

I think most of today’s world problems are originating in this issue or are connected with this issue – the battles between world powers, the interests they show to grab the Middle Eastern states and the wars in the Middle East. {From Palestine} The conflict spread to Lebanon, and then to Jordan, now it has gone beyond, to places like Iran, Iraq and also gone to the Maghreb region (North Africa).

These countries are continued to be destabilized by world powers meddling in those areas. This is very unfortunate, because the ordinary people, not the political setup, like to live in peace. That peace is always elusive and that kind of situation is not good at all for humanity.

If we want to create a world of peace; the problem in Palestine should be sorted out by all peace-loving people in this planet. Unfortunately due to the interest of the nations which try to safeguard their own positions and try to peddle influence, this problem remains unsolved and thousands of people continue to suffer in those areas.

The Middle East has become the caldron of fire. The entire world is helpless as the heavy arms industry creates wars — not just finishing wars but creating wars. To sell their arms, they generate wars.

We are different. If we are not different, we will be not looking at each other. We are different; therefore, we look at each other and appreciate the differences.

But we try to create the monolithic world with some powers dominating the others. Therefore, they create the heavy arms industry, create tension between people, set them up one against another, and dominate the world continuously.

Even in our country this is the situation. If we want to have world peace, we must have no more war. And war can be prevented by accepting the differences between us. We must tolerate one another and reach out positively to one another appreciating our differences.

In Quds (Jerusalem), in the city of peace, too, they are causing problems. This problem of Palestine has to be resolved by all peace loving people if we are going to have finally a just system in the world.

The structures of peace that were established after the two world wars have become structures of oppression, structures of inequality. You bring any resolution at the international level; those resolutions are controlled by those who have power, and therefore all those resolutions are not accepted or not on count. This is really a sad chapter of humanity.

I think the three great religions of the Middle East — Islam, Judaism and Christianity — have to learn and bring people together without dividing them, and the world powers must not meddle in the region. They must allow the people of the region themselves to find their solutions. World powers meddling in this region and trying to protect their interests create further complications. The problem of Palestine will never be solved unless world powers get out of those places and allow the Muslim, Jews and Christian people who are living in these areas to settle their issues peacefully with one another. The attempt to create a monolithic world will damage peace and harmony all over the world.

I thank His Excellency the Ambassador for the invitation. I hope and pray that Palestine will be liberated soon. We sincerely hope that will happen. And the people of Palestine need not go from place to place to seek refuge with their suitcases. They will be able to live in dignity one day in their own state. We believe we are able to help you in this matter. We assure you that we are with you.
We wish you peace and harmony for Palestine and its oppressed people. Happy Christmas! Peaceful Christmas and happy newyear! “

 

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