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“The role of religion in peacemaking is to preach love, including of those who are different from us, those who are not like us” – Metropolitan Grigoli of Poti and Khobi

“The role of religion in peacemaking is to preach love, including of those who are different from us, those who are not like us” – Metropolitan Grigoli of Poti and Khobi

“Religion will play a more effective role in the establishment of peace when we do not offer our believers only religious dialogues or other formal formats, but we call and teach them to firmly adhere to the divine blessing, the doctrines that from time immemorial teach us to love our neighbour, condemn violence and inspire us to be at peace with ourselves and with the world. The role of religion in peacemaking is what it should always have been - to preach love, including of those who are different from us, those who are not like us. There is a lot of material for this kind of teaching in the Caucasus region, and not using it is an important missed resource, especially if we take into account the fact that the vast majority of the population of our countries consider themselves believers.” This was stated by His Grace Metropolitan Grigoli, Archbishop of Poti and Khobi whilst addressing participants of the first South Caucasus Youth Peace Summer School (SCYPSS), which is being held in Kachreti, Georgia from 21-31 August 2023. Metropolitan Grigoli warned that “wounds caused by war and conflict cannot be healed by another war! The power of mind and language is always greater than that of arms, and peace between countries should be built on the peace-loving nature of human being; All paths leading to peace today are expressions of responsible moral consciousness”. At the end of his speech Archbishop Grigoli praised the initiative to hold the first South Caucasus Youth peace Summer School and congratulated participants for their contribution to the work of the School.

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“The role of religion in peacemaking is to preach love, including of those who are different from us, those who are not like us” – Metropolitan Grigoli of Poti and Khobi

“The role of religion in peacemaking is to preach love, including of those who are different from us, those who are not like us” – Metropolitan Grigoli of Poti and Khobi

“Religion will play a more effective role in the establishment of peace when we do not offer our believers only religious dialogues or other formal formats, but we call and teach them to firmly adhere to the divine blessing, the doctrines that from time immemorial teach us to love our neighbour, condemn violence and inspire us to be at peace with ourselves and with the world. The role of religion in peacemaking is what it should always have been - to preach love, including of those who are different from us, those who are not like us. There is a lot of material for this kind of teaching in the Caucasus region, and not using it is an important missed resource, especially if we take into account the fact that the vast majority of the population of our countries consider themselves believers.” This was stated by His Grace Metropolitan Grigoli, Archbishop of Poti and Khobi whilst addressing participants of the first South Caucasus Youth Peace Summer School (SCYPSS), which is being held in Kachreti, Georgia from 21-31 August 2023. Metropolitan Grigoli warned that “wounds caused by war and conflict cannot be healed by another war! The power of mind and language is always greater than that of arms, and peace between countries should be built on the peace-loving nature of human being; All paths leading to peace today are expressions of responsible moral consciousness”. At the end of his speech Archbishop Grigoli praised the initiative to hold the first South Caucasus Youth peace Summer School and congratulated participants for their contribution to the work of the School.
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Muslims around the world welcome the start of the holy month of Ramadan

Muslims around the world welcome the start of the holy month of Ramadan

Muslims across the world are welcoming in the start of the holy month of Ramadan on Wednesday and Thursday (22 and 23 March). Muslims believe that Ramadan is the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1,400 years ago. Throughout the month, observing Muslims fast from just before the sunrise prayer, Fajr, to the sunset prayer, Maghrib. The fast entails abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, and sexual relations to achieve greater "taqwa", or consciousness of God. Some people are however exempt from observing Ramadan, including children who have not yet reached puberty, the young or elderly who are not physically or mentally capable of fasting, as well as pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and travellers. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr. In Arabic, it means "festival of breaking the fast". Depending on the new moon sighting, Eid al-Fitr this year is likely to fall on 21 April. On the occasion of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan the editorial team of commonspace.eu extends its best wishes to all our Muslim readers, subscribers and contributors across the world. Ramadan Mubarak!
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Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas in the shadow of the Ukraine-Russia War

Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas in the shadow of the Ukraine-Russia War

Orthodox Christians all over the world on Saturday (7 January) celebrate Christmas in accordance with the Julian Calander. On the eve, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill delivered a Christmas service in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, and the scene was repeated in Christian Orthodox Churches across Eastern Europe and the Middle East and world wide. This Christmas however sees the Orthodox world in conflict with itself as the Ukraine-Russia War rages on. In the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, Ukrainians ventured out into a light dusting of snow to buy gifts, cakes and groceries for Christmas Eve family celebrations.  In a video message, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised Ukrainians as “united as never before” and lamented that the conflict has forced many to abandon Christmas folk traditions that prohibit sewing and hunting. “It is forbidden to sew and knit, but we weave camouflage nets and sew bulletproof vests, overcoming evil. Our ancestors did not go hunting in these days, but we fight so that we do not become prey and to defeat the beast,” he said. Putin attended services at the Annunciation Cathedral, one of several churches on the grounds of the Kremlin.
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Putin orders Orthodox Christmas ceasefire, rejected by Ukraine

Putin orders Orthodox Christmas ceasefire, rejected by Ukraine

Following an appeal from Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a 36-hour ceasefire along the front line in Ukraine over Orthodox Christmas. Scheduled to begin on Friday at 12pm Moscow time, the ceasefire ordered by Putin was quickly rejected by the Ukrainians. The Ukrainian presidential advisor Mikhailo Podolyak responded by saying that "[The Russian Federation] must leave the occupied territories - only then will it have a 'temporary truce'". He added that Russia should "keep hypocrisy to yourself". Over the New Year celebrations, Russia launched one of its biggest drone attacks on critical infrastructure and main population centres in Ukraine since the start of its full-scale war. Ukraine says that it successfully destroyed all 84 of the drones that Russia launched over the New Year period. Patriarch Kirill had asked "all the parties involved" in the conflict to "cease fire and establish a Christmas truce". A subsequent statement by the Kremlin read: "Taking into consideration the appeal by [Kirill], the president hereby instructs the minister of defence of the Russian Federation to impose a ceasefire regime along the entire line of contact in Ukraine", ending at midnight on Sunday.