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Pope sends Assisi peace declaration to heads of state

The Pope has sent a letter to all heads of state and government, along with the Assisi Decalogue for Peace that aims to guide the post-11 September world.

The letter, sent on Monday, was dated 24 February, exactly one month after the interfaith prayer summit. The "Decalogue" was proclaimed at the end of the gathering, which was the largest meeting of religious leaders in history, called in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States and their aftermath.

The document was read by Christians of different denominations, and by Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and representatives of African and Asian traditional religions, among others. It begins by stating "that violence and terrorism are incompatible with the authentic Spirit of religion."

In his letter, John Paul II expresses his conviction that "these ten propositions will be able to inspire the political and social action" of governments.

"I was able to witness that the participants in the Assisi meeting were more committed than ever to the common conviction that humanity must choose between love and hatred," the Holy Father wrote.

His letter expresses the hope that "the spirit and commitment of Assisi will lead all men of good will to the search for truth, justice, liberty, love so that every human person will be able to enjoy his/her inalienable rights, and every nation, peace."


Assisi Decalogue for Peace



6 Mar 2002