The International Day of Peace is a call for global ceasefire; a chance for all regions and nations to lay down weapons for a day. A chance to consider a world with limited violence, deep respect for individuals and communities, and reverence for ecological gifts.
The Peoples Right to Peace is the focus of this years International Day of Peace. Conversations range from border disputes, to issues of natural resource sovereignty, to religious freedom, to climate justice, and certainly, political conflicts tied to economic and social unrest. The issue of our inherent right to peace is as critical as our right to water, to food, to freedom from violence. A right to peace is effectively a statement on the undesirable state that conflict presents to the average citizen, soldier, or witness.
Past focii include: education for sustainability, violence in the home or workplace, and direct questions like ‘who will you make peace with.’ The day is a chance to be intentional in our vision of a decent world, a vision of abundance.
There is a new report by ‘Vision of Humanity’ entitled Peace and Religion, 5 Key Questions Answered.
The key findings are as follows:
- Corruption, economic inequality and political instability have a greater impact on countries’ likelihood of conflict than religious differences.
- The proportion of atheists in a country does not impact levels of peace.
- Many Muslim-majority countries with Sunni and Shia demographic mixes are relatively peaceful.
- Only 14% of conflicts in 2013 were motivated by religion alone, however religion was one of multiple causes in 60% of conflicts.
- Two thirds of the conflicts had as their main cause opposition to a particular government or opposition to the economic, ideological, political or social system of a state.
- More peaceful countries tend to have fewer restrictions on religious behaviour and less hostility towards religion.
It is our hope that conversation and meditation continue to engage us in the broader issues of peace in the globe, and the individual responses in our everyday lives.