You are invited to join with people of faith from around the world
to participate in an unprecedented act of inter-religious global cooperation
72 hours of interfaith peace-building at the turn of the millennium,
as a living pledge to a new and more hopeful future for all people.
On December 31, 1999, humanity's bloodiest century will end. Much of
this blood was shed, and continues to be shed, in the name of religion.
All too often, people of faith have encouraged violence and warfare,
or have been silent. If we do not change our behavior, the next century
may well be bloodier than the last.
Such violence is not restricted to places like Northern Ireland,
Bosnia and Indonesia. Those are merely the places we see its most bitter
fruits. Violence has its roots in ignorance, misunderstanding, fear,
and hatred, and these forces are present in our own home communities.
Here too, people of faith share at least some responsibility for having
allowed these seeds to grow.
It is time not just to stop religious violence, but to uproot all
the things that lead to such violence. It is time to act together in
the spirit of hope that is found at the heart of all our faith traditions.
On January 1, 2000, we will cross the threshold into a new millennium,
a moment of focused global hope for the future. Even for those who keep
time by other calendars, this threshold offers a historic opportunitya
moment to reflect together on our past, and to begin together to sow
the seeds of a true peace, grounded in the inexhaustible depth of the
Many are already at work in the garden. The purpose of the 72 Hours
Project is to bring into being a whole new level of global inter-religious
cooperation, to commit together to a culture of cooperation and peace,
and to create a gift of hope for the generations that will follow us.
From Friday, December 31, 1999 through Sunday, January 2, 2000, people
of faith will mobilize their communities for peace building. To be part
of this effort, you are invited to commit to any or all of the following
five specific actions:
Peace Vigil: Participate in a 72-hour global vigil of silence,
prayer and meditation for peace in our lives, in our communities, in
Prayer/Meditation for Spiritual Neighbors: When your religious
or spiritual community gathers, offer words of respect, honor and blessing
for those of other faiths. Send greetings and blessings to your religious
and spiritual neighbors.
Cooperative Local Action: Explore, with people of other faiths,
the peace teachings of your tradition, and commit to cooperate on one
clear and tangible peace-building project in your local community by
the end of 1999.
Call to Political Leaders: Wherever possible, call on political
leaders at all levels to lead in ceasing violence during these 72 hours,
and to commit to transfer military spending to address basic human needs.
Solidarity in Conflict Zones: Support small interfaith groups
of leaders who will travel to areas of deep religious conflict to be
in solidarity with those working for peace.
"Peace is every step." Thich Nhat Hanh
Call Sylvan at 925-1141 for information on 72-hour circles forming