Religions can never be used to exhort people to hatred or violence, since we are all children of the same God. Fundamentalism is a deadly disease for religions and for cultures because it is exclusionist, it traps people in an enemy-based culture, and it provokes violence.
To those who believe that violence and terrorism are the only way out, the faithful say “free yourselves of that oppressive pessimism that leads to a world of walls and enemies where living in safety and peace is impossible. Peaceful coexistence must be encouraged.”
Religious representatives strongly affirm that tolerance and respect are written into their most deeply held religious traditions. As a result, they are determined to repudiate and separate themselves from hatred and conflicts.
Representatives of the Centrist Democrat International renew their own personal and joint pledges to the peaceful strengthening of the world’s democracies while renouncing indifference to suffering and injustice. They are committed to making the common good their personal goal.
Political representatives wholeheartedly appreciate the efforts, understanding, contributions and words of all religious representatives who are working to accept the challenge of holding the first CDI interfaith meeting in Madrid.
The various religious faiths exert a great spiritual and human influence that cannot be ignored. Religions espouse a deep respect for the individual. We must not forget that every true religion is based on this concept – all religions uphold the dignity of the human person.
The influence of religion is now, more than ever, a cherished treasure that must be shared and used to build a better world for future generations. Politicians, for their part, know that future societies can develop solely through the earnest practice of democracy and freedom.
True civilizations and great religions are, by definition, the bearers of universal and positive values, like democracy, freedom, justice, equality, the Rule of Law and human rights, whose intention, also by definition, is to unite mankind.
We therefore regard it as an engaging and fruitful endeavor for religious representatives, an important constituent of civil society, and political leaders to act together and to mobilize to establish and promote the open and democratic coexistence of our societies.
The Centrist Democrat International, in concert with representatives from the major religions, seeks to continue promoting open and constructive meetings so as to bring about collaboration in the strengthening of democracy and the economic and social development of our societies in a context of universal peace and safety.
We thus make real our commitment to enhance all forms of intercultural and interfaith dialogue so that every society and every country in the world can work to consolidate mutual understanding and tolerance as unyielding principles.
The religious and political leaders gathered today in Madrid express their willingness to continue cooperating and to meet again in order to work toward peaceful coexistence within and among countries in liberty and democracy, a coexistence based on equality among people, an ideal that is shared by all.
Together, we must address the expectations of our societies in the areas of development, progress and democracy, while at the same time making every effort possible to reduce tension, lessen conflicts, put an end to terrorism in the world and ensure stability and safety for everyone.
We must confront the grave threats to the progress made over the centuries by the efforts of millions of people in a range of political, moral, social, cultural and spiritual movements.
We have the responsibility to ensure our citizens the right to live safely in freedom and to promote cooperation and solidarity. We espouse tolerance and dialogue.
Tolerance disavows the short-sighted pessimism of those who say that coexistence among peoples is not possible and that we are forever doomed to hatred by the wounds of old mistakes. Tolerance, along with the tenets of respect for the law and fundamental human rights, is a virtue that must be cultivated by religions, by cultures, and by those whose task it is to govern society. It is a good that must be taught to our youngest citizens.
Dialogue, meanwhile, is the choice of the brave of heart. Sincere dialogue does not weaken anyone’s stance. Dialogue encourages every man and woman to see the best in others and to take root in the best of oneself. Dialogue is the medicine that heals wounds and paves the way to the only possible destiny for Mankind, cultures, civilizations and religions: to live together on a planet that we must make more habitable than it is today for generations to come.
In these historic times of new encounters between eastern and western Europe, we must aspire to achieve a lasting bond between north and south as well. A new spirit of cooperation between people must be brought to the forefront by making the fight against poverty and the defense of human rights the pressing priorities of every modern society.
The birth of a true international community, the protection of different cultures and religions, the fight against racism and xenophobia, the battle against terrorism, the protection of the weak, universal literacy and access to culture, economic development, the eradication of poverty and the prevention of diseases that affect primarily poor countries, all represent a step forward for mankind.
The world we want to build must be based on respect for its different religions and cultures, as well as on respect for fundamental human rights, which comprise the basis for coexistence, peace and stability in today’s increasingly interdependent societies.
Ours is a world in which the development and promotion of democratic values and respect for human dignity must be fundamental values.economic development.