Last week, St. Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, hosted the launch of the World Peace Forum under the slogan, "Here We Pray Together for World Peace." A number of governmental ministers and ambassadors attended the forum. The Governor of South Sinai, the Minister of Endowments and the head of the religious committee in the Egyptian parliament gave the opening speeches. The following day, the Minister of Endowments gave a Friday sermon at the Holy Valley Mosque. After Friday prayers, he visited the monastery and met with the Coptic Orthodox Bishop. In the afternoon, the governor held a press conference, where he announced the ‘Charter of St. Catherine for World Peace’, to confirm that St. Catherine is the convergence of heavenly religions.
The Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, president of the Protestant Community of Egypt, and the General Secretary of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, attended the event and spoke.
In his remarks, Rev. Zaki stated, “Sinai is the land of the prophets, where God spoke to His prophet Moses, and the feet of the Holy Family have laid down; Egypt has always been a holy land.” He pointed out that, “we live in a world that is hungry for peace. When we look around the world, there are struggles at various levels.” Zaki clarified, “Peace in its broad sense does not only mean the end of conflicts, but it can also require the emphasis on achieving a wide range of vocabulary, values and customs based on full respect for the principles of sovereignty and freedoms, respect for the principles of dialogue and cooperation, and rejection of violence.”
Zaki added, “Living in peace generates values of tolerance and respect among people; and spreads appreciation and acceptance of the world's diverse cultures, different ways of expression, and human differences in general. Peace is thus promoted through interest in knowledge, openness to others, and the belief that tolerance is the basis for the solution of conflicts. Thus, peace is not limited to morality, but is also a political and legal demand. Peace begins from the person himself to find innovative ways of promoting concepts of friendship, understanding, cooperation and contemplation of the meanings of peace quietly and seriously.”
A summary of the event is available here.