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    Bossey students speak as one on fostering peace

    Bossey students speak as one on fostering peace

    The students are planting fruit trees in the Bossey Garden. Photo: Marianne Ejdersten/WCC

    14 July 2017

    As young people earned an interreligious studies certificate at the World Council of Churches Bossey Institute, they completed their three-week course with unified thoughts on promoting peace. In a communique issued on 13 July, they identified themselves as Jews, Christians and Muslims - children of Abraham - with a unique openness.

    “With a basis of mutual respect and trust, we discovered many common grounds, including the importance of prayer and fellowship, the understanding of God as One, and our shared forefather, Abraham,” the communique reads.

    The group pursued a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Interreligious Studies, which is accredited by the University of Geneva under the Swiss Higher Education Programme for Continuing Education.

    In the communique, the group acknowledged that they struggled with tensions when differences in belief and cultural understanding arose. “These tensions, innate to encountering difference, reflect on a micro level the violent conflicts that evolve on a macro level in our world when there are no opportunities for encounter,” the communique reads. “While recognizing that dialogue requires much work and trust, we find the inclusion of each individual voice an invaluable part of the journey toward just peace.”

    As the group left the peaceful environment of Bossey, they acknowledged that they were encouraged by the fact that between difficult conversations, they could dance, laugh, and eat together.

    “Our hope inspires us to bring these experiences, based on respect and human dignity, back to our own contexts: promoting understanding and cultivating opportunities for interreligious encounter to foster peace,” concluded the communique.

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