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June 21, 2011 3:29 pm

Religious Leaders Seek Formal UN Recognition

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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The Grand Mufti of Bosnia Herzeboviona, Dr. Mustafa Ceric presented a copy of a 500 year old Hagadah saved from Nazi destruction as a gift to the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

In a show of extraordinary good faith, an ecumenical coalition of rabbis, priests, imams, ministers, and layman of many faiths and denominations gathered at the United Nations in New York to develop an initiative that would involve persons of faith – clergy and laypeople – in the decision making process of the UN.

Sponsored by the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics and co-hosted by the Pastor Enoch Adebayo, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the mission of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the United Nations, working under the UN’s Alliance of Civilizations, the summit, held June 20, brought together leaders in the the Abrahamic faith groups, to an international conference held under multi-national patronage and “notably, King Mohammed VI of Morocco.”

Keynote addresses presented by The Grand Mufti of Bosnia Herzegovina, Dr. Mustafa Ceric and The Chief Rabbi of Geneva, Yitzhak Dayan, focused on the shared values of people of faith, noting coincidences of history shared by all members of the Abrahamic faiths. Chief Rabbi Dayan, who recently participated in the Conference of European Rabbis (CER is an internationally recognized NGO, a non government organization) and met with Jewish religious leaders from 40 countries. That conference, as did the June 20 event, is seeking a United Nations initiative to internationally guarantee “protection of all religious sites as an integral part of any Middle East peace.” At the New York meeting, he joined the Grand Mufti of Bosnia Herzegovina, Dr. Mustafa Ceric, and Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and Dr. Elie Abadie to discuss “The Road Map to a Culture of Peace in the Middle East.”

The formal presentations made throughout the event were of significant importance; the personal interchanges between and among participants were noteworthy. In informal conversation, the Grand Mufti recalled his visit to Auschwitz, noting that he had gone from one whose understanding of humanity’s capability of inhuman behavior had been starkly awakened when his own people were victims of genocide. “The Jewish people understood,” he said. “The Jews recognized what was happening before anyone else.”

Calling on the UN to assure the protection of the religious sites of all faiths…and to adopt into practice the relevant global ethics specified in international declarations and UN resolutions, the conference hopes to develop a culture of peace, dialogue among civilizations. With the guidance of Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Catholic religious leaders, the conference proposes the creation of a dialogue among civilizations, to “serve as an inspiration.” With the significant particpation of young clergy – Christian, Jewish and Muslim – in the delegations, the message of respect and regard of one for the other, no matter what his or her observance platform may be, appears likely to be translated to the current (and next) generation of involved religious leaders and people.

The level of directness and frankness among this diverse cadre of multi-faith, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-gender, and multi-generation participants promoted a climate of intelligence and hope. Cooperation was conspicuous: when language appeared to present a barrier, informal translators undertook the assistance of their colleagues, assuring that concepts and ideas were understood by all. Whether from Geneva, Istanbul, the Emirates, New York, or New Haven, participants actively joined together in their quest for increased respect and understanding of the “other”.

During his presentation, New York Rabbi Elie Abadie discussed the issue of the need for the United Nations as part of the Quartet, to recognize the rights of the Jewish people as indigenous to the land of Israel. The rights of indigenous people are protected by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People which was endorsed by the General Assembly in 2007. Though no formal resolution was promulgated, no objections were raised; in fact, outright support of the rights of the Jewish people to their land, based on his interpretation of the Koran was voiced by Dr. Oktar Babuna, a Turkish neurosurgeon, conference delegate, and Muslim. Establishment of this declaration would have wide consequenced, not be limited to historical reference, but could have significant impact on contemporary politics.

The conference concluded with a festive diner at the Edmund J. Safra Synagogue where the menu paid homage to the “comfort foods” enjoyed by many of the guests. An extravagant array of Middle Eastern hor d’oeveres preceded a dinner that could have graced any Shabbat table, topped with a fine selection of New York style pastries. Speaker of the evening Daisy Feisel, was warmly welcomed as she discussed the evolution of the Muslim community’s quest to build as Islamic Center in lower Manhattan. Her vision is to transform a project that was met with controversy and hate into one that will be a prime example of the application of good faith and cooperation.

The leadership of persons of good faith willing and able to direct their congregants towards positive, respectful acceptance of differences and the right to practice such differences is a precious resource.

Concluding a day promoting the presence of people of faith at the United Nations, Mrs. Daisy Feisel, wife of Imam Abdul Rauf Feisal of the Masjid al-Farah, a New York City mosque, spoke at a dinner at the Safra Synagogue. Here with Rabbi Elie Abadie (left) and Professor Joseph Cuming, Director, Reconcillation Initiave, Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of G-d, Chief Rabbi of Geneva Rabbi Dayan, and the Grand Mufti of Bosnia Herzeboviona, Dr. Mustafa Ceric presented the Keynote addresses at the global Summit at the United Nations "The Road Map to a Culture of Peace in the Middle East." Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Men of G-d and Good Will: Rabbi Dr.Elie Abadie, Chief Rabbi of the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in New York (right), the Grand Mufti of Bosnia Herzeboviona, Dr. Mustafa Ceric at the United Nations and Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of G-d joined hands and hearts at an international conference of religious leaders at the United Nations. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

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  • Right

    Has someone noticed that the reporter is so unprofessional to have consistently written God as “G-d”

    • United

      Actually you need to go gain some knowledge. The Jewish community do not write God in full because they believe it is a sign of disrespect (well its around that ball park). So they write G-d.
      I detest ignorance and because of that you begin to insult the writer like they don’t know what they are doing.
      In everything that is written in this article its that what you decided to point out.

      Its a big shame!

  • Akinawle Akinlade

    To hear that all this persons, self proclaim Religious Leader,that is what i call them for if they realy believed in the Gods they claim to worship then they would not be Seeking Formal UN Recognition,or personaly recognition of any kind.
    Jesus and Mohammed did not ask or seek recognition,it was given to them by the people,due to their teaching and their work.
    What are these religious leaders showing us?.to me it is ony self and the entity they are fronting for.

  • MH8169

    An interesting article but I am so jaundiced by these interfaith backsratching that I am uncertain if this development will lead to anything positive. When I see a change by Hamas, Hizbullah and its ilk of stop teaching hate to their children, then I can rejoice. But Muslim behavior of deception and lies is so entrenched in their teaching from the time of Mohammed makes me pause. I cannot clap my hands and sing praises of joy.

  • BZB

    All the comments above look like they were written by the same person. Ari is right – disband the UN. It is a disfunctional, self-serving bureaucracy. Look at how they failed in Rwanda, Burundi and countless other conflicts. The small minded UN leaders spend untold resources ganging up on and condemning tiny Israel while distracting the world from real issues like Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the corrupt Arab regimes and dictators. If the Arabs laid down their arms there would be peace…if Israel laid down its arms there would be no Israel. Anyone who has actually visited Israel knows that it is a holy, just and beautiful country and model for the nations.

  • Leke Lanre

    This is great! May the Lord empower all the leaders.More Anointing for my daddy Enoch Adejare Adeboye in Jesus name,Amen!

  • Deji Oyebadejo

    This is really profound.May God bless the men of God.God bless pastor E.A.Adeboye

  • Gama Levi

    What a lovely meeting, may God increase this unity of faith and cause it to spread to the arab world where there are civil unrest. May the Almighty God increase His anointing in the Life my father, Pst E.A Adeboye.

  • Eze victor

    Daddy,ths is gud,lets av more partnershp wit religious leaders,am sure it wil take us smwere..daddy pray 4 me..oo..av an issue dats nids ur attention…

  • sarah


  • Badewole Ariyo

    The religious leaders are trying to spread and share a peaceful relationship with one another but, their followers do otherwise, and this calls for a real sensitization among the followers.

  • olalekan

    Our God is able to do exceedingly,abundantly, above all what we think or imagine according to the power of that walketh in us. It is good initiative, God will help us.

  • Fakorede olabode emmanuel

    This call the unity of the word in Religion may make it a success in jesus name

  • Martins Adegoke

    Religion will not save the world. But the genuine love of God will save the world. God is the father of all irrespective of our faiths and that is why He never discriminates about bringing sunshine or air onto all. While Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the real path to Godliness and peace, It is clear that nobody can force anyone away from the faith in which one has been brought up. However, as genuine love flows from sincere hearts of men and women in place of prayers, steadfast supplications should continued to be made unto the Living God, He is more than able to redeem those He love. Clergy men across faiths can help lay the foundation of peace and communal living among their wards around the world by being exemplary in their conducts and words and in condemnation of violence; while promoting peace and enlightments in their various communities through compulsory, modern education for their wards, the practice of democracy and responsible freedom of choices and speech. Informed people are better able to make informed choices and better judgement irrespective of our respective faiths.

  • And that is the really final Word to you Vicki Lazette Williamson and all students of the Holy Scriptures.”¨

    Go to Ҭcheck the website and see in the Bible what Jesus is saying in Mark 8:38 about it:

    ҬKing James BibleӬ

    38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.


  • sarah james

    we thank God for allowing Jesus dream to come alive during our time [unity] it si our duty to pray for the peace of Jerusalem so as to experience peace in our country

  • And that is the really final Word to you Vicki Lazette Williamson and all students of the Holy Scriptures.”¨
    Go to http://www.peace365.orgҬcheck the website and see in the Bible what Jesus is saying in Mark 8:38 about it:Ӭ

    King James BibleӬ

    38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.


    • There is a small imp in the post.

      Go one minute up!

  • ode

    indeed the 2nd coming of Christ is nigh the more we witness peace in mideast.

  • oyewusi abiola

    It great

  • roberts francis

    the coming together of our religious leaders will not only bring positive change to our society but will bring peace to the world at large,let this continue and God will be with each and every one of you

  • Ari

    No thanks. Disband the UN. The Torah is clear about E”Y, no other endorsement is needed, or appropriate.

    • Where exactly is the Torah clear about the global peace?

      And the UN allows for wars
      therefore the UN will endorse proposal.

      What is clear about E”Y?
      and what is E”Y?

      People fight wars
      and people shall establish peace.