The National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland, which promotes dialogue and cooperation between religions, is following with concern the recent tragic events in Egypt and Syria, where innocent civilians from different religious communities have been exposed to and targeted by violence.
In the Syrian civil war the breaches of human rights and international law have produced enormous human suffering, large numbers of refugees and significant material damage.
We deplore that democracy in Egypt has been stalled in its inception by power politics and struggle for power between different groups of the population. We urge all parties to seek reconciliation through dialogue and to strive towards unification of the Egyptian society.
Egypt and Syria are both important states in the Middle-East, where the future of the whole region depends on the internal stability of states, on democratic rule and on good relations with neighbors.
The National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland especially invites representatives of different religions in the region to seize the opportunity that constructive dialogue offers. We have in particular noted the growing importance of the role of religious leaders in promoting peace in many conflict areas. We therefore urge political leaders and peace mediators to increasingly make use of the potential of religious leaders in conflict resolution in the Middle-East.
On behalf of the Board of the National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland:
Yaron Nadbornik, President, The Central Council of Jewish Communities in Finland
Kaarlo Kalliala, Vice-President, Bishop, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
Abdou-Majid Tahirou-Varjonen, Vice-President, The Islamic Council of Finland