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Evaluate the Contribution of Two Religions Towards World Peace

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Evaluate the contribution of two religions towards world peace:

Christianity and Islam both contribute significantly to the concept of world peace. This peace is both taught and practiced by both faiths, in cohesion with their principal beliefs as outlined by each of their sacred texts.

The most significant sacred text of Christianity is the New Testament, which deals with the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the development of the early Christian church, and is deeply concerned with the promotion of world peace, that is peace between God's people.

The New Testament also strongly urges people to work at world peace, even when it is difficult. In the famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus states "blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). Therefore it could be said making peace with others is part of making peace with God, and by making peace with others a peaceful world is created.

Various other peace teachings are present in the New Testament, for instance Jesus taught not to escalate quarrels by taking revenge for wrongs, "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). Other influential Christians have further emphasised Jesus' teachings about peace, for instance Paul wrote to the Romans, "do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody" (Romans 12:18). Therefore a continual reference to creating a peaceful world is made throughout the New Testament, and by understanding and utilising its teachings world peace is indeed possible.

Aside from their sacred texts Christians, like Muslims, aim to contribute to world peace simply by the shape of their lives, they do this by trying to live in harmony with God and other people, obeying the command to love their enemies, and loving their neighbours in the same way they love themselves. On June 2008 a world peace forum took place involving an international gathering attended by Christian/Muslim leaders and scholars, business people and journalists. Many goals and ideas were presented, for instance Fr Chris Riley stated "To achieve peace our leaders used to show young people that we are one race, the human race. We must lead by example". Therefore challenging our world leaders to celebrate the similarities of their people, and in turn bring about world peace.

The principal teachings about world peace are evident in the Christian tradition of pax Christi, meaning peace of Christ. Teaching how to enforce peace and peacemaking, incorporating justice, forgiveness and reconciliation into daily life. Most Christian denominations also comprehensively teach adherents various mechanisms in achieving peace, for instance by proclaiming and contributing to an earthly peace which both respects the uniqueness of others and acknowledges a common humanity. It is also readily preached to defend those groups most vulnerable in the community such as minority groups, women and children.

The majority of Christian churches, groups or communities strongly advocate and support world peace, even to the extent that Christian pacifist organisations have been established. Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is one such international oragnisation set up to support teams of peace workers in conflict areas around the world. Attempting to lower levels of violence through non-violent direct action and human rights documentation.

The World Council of Churches is an ecumenical movement which unites all Christian denominational ideas and goals about world peace. Significant steps they have taken highlighting their role in bringing about world peace include setting up an annual interfaith initiative called the International Prayer of Peace. This initiative is one way in which all denominations unite in praying for common causes which ultimately prevent world peace. By doing this Christians are coming together as a community and in a way combating and showing a united front against breaches of world peace. The WCC also urges all churches and Christians to advocate for a just peace, especially in the Israel/Palestine region.

Many Christian Churches also have agencies devoted to various types of social service. For instance St Vincent De Paul, which is an international organisation of the Catholic Church, whose primary mission is to help the poor and less fortunate. By reducing



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