(Reuters) – Pope Benedict, worried over increasing inter-religious violence, will host a summit of world religious leaders in Assisi in October to discuss how they can better promote peace, he announced on Saturday.
Benedict told pilgrims and tourists in St Peter’s Square the aim of the meeting would be to “solemnly renew the commitment of believers of every religion to live their own religious faith in the service of the cause for peace”.
He made the announcement hours after a bomb killed at least 17 people in a church in Egypt in the latest attack on Christians in the Middle East and Africa.
The Assisi meeting will take place on the 25th anniversary of a similar encounter hosted by the late Pope John Paul in 1986 in the birthplace of St Francis.
That meeting was attended by Muslim and Jewish leaders and heads of many other religions, including the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
John Paul called on all nations and groups in conflict to silence their weapons during the meeting. Most groups adhered.
A main theme of the 1986 summit was the public repudiation of the concept of violence in the name of God.
“Humanity … cannot be allowed to become accustomed to discrimination, injustices and religious intolerance, which today strike Christians in a particular way,” Pope Benedict said in his New Year’s Day homily to 10,000 people in St Peter’s Basilica on the day the Church marks its World Day of Peace.
“Once again, I make a pressing appeal (to Christians in troubled areas) not to give in to discouragement and resignation,” he said.
Satan also wants peace in his kingdom, but cannot control his family. Yahweh can and will bring peace and harmony to Her creation.
There will be no peace on any foundation other than that of Christ’s Jesus whom founded the world as Michael the firstborn Son of Yahweh, the ancient Israel Mother of all creation.
‘Therefore the Lord GOD said: “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable.”
“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on the earth whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astounded when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present [again].”
(CNN) – Two months ago, a Tunisian fruit vendor struck a match that started a fire that has spread throughout the much of North Africa and the Middle East. Muhammad Bouazizi’s self-immolation prompted anti-government protests that toppled regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. Here are the latest developments, including the roots of the unrest, as well as a look at previous events in affected countries.
Tens of thousands of Libyans took to the streets Friday to air their discontent with four decades of Moammar Gadhafi, the longest-ruling non-royalty head of state in the world, witnesses said. At least 20 people were killed and 200 were injured in the northern Mediterranean city of Benghazi, Libya’s second largest, said a medical source in Benghazi, who was not identified for security reasons. CNN was unable to independently verify the information. U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the outbreak of violence in Libya.
Roots of unrest:
Protests in Libya, ruled by Gadhafi since a 1969 coup, began in January when demonstrators, fed up with delays, broke into a housing project the government was building and occupied it. Gadhafi’s government responded with a $24 billion fund for housing and development. A month later, more demonstrations were sparked when police detained relatives of those killed in an alleged 1996 massacre at the Abu Salim prison, according to Human Rights Watch. High unemployment has also fueled the protests, as have anti-Gadhafi groups
Four people were killed in the center of Bahrain’s capital Friday, where shots were fired after demonstrators gathered, an ambulance worker in Manama told CNN. U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the violence. The new protests came a day after a violent police and military crackdown left four dead and scores wounded. What seemed like thousands of people – some chanting anti-government slogans – marched in the town of Sitra to attend the funerals of three of the four people killed Thursday. Two other people died during disturbances earlier in the week. The tiny island nation is a U.S. ally and houses the headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.
Roots of unrest:
Protesters initially took to the streets of Manama on Monday to demand reform and the introduction of a constitutional monarchy. But some are now calling for the removal of the royal family, which has led the Persian Gulf island state since the 18th century. Young members of the country’s Shiite Muslim majority have staged violent protests in recent years to complain about discrimination, unemployment and corruption, issues they say the country’s Sunni rulers have done little to address. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights says authorities launched a clampdown on dissent in late 2010. It accused the government of torturing some human rights activists.
Spiking food prices are pushing tens of millions of people throughout the globe into poverty, and threaten to spread unrest in the Middle East further afield to sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia, according to the head of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick.
“I’m concerned that higher food prices add to stress points and could add to the fragility that is already and always there any time you have revolutions and transitions,” said Zoellick. “What I’m actually more concerned about is looking ahead. As you see, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, other societies, struggle to try to develop responses to these social and public pressures.”
in the months since June 2010, 44 million people have fallen into poverty as a direct result of increasing food prices, according to World Bank Vice President for Poverty Reduction Otaviano Canuto.
In fact, “the increase over the last quarter is driven largely by increases in the price of sugar (20 percent), fats and oils (22 percent), wheat (20 percent), and maize (12 percent),” wrote Canuto.
Food prices are just three percentage points under the 2008 peak that saw bread riots across the world — including the Middle East and North Africa.
Analysts are now concerned that spiking food prices will not only exacerbate poverty rates, but also stoke the fires of instability that have engulfed the Middle East.