Cyprus’ Religious Leaders adopt Joint Communique, committing to build culture of peace and trust

The five Religious Leaders of Cyprus met on Friday and adopted a Joint Communique on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process (RTCYPP) under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden, noting that they commit themselves to continue to build a culture of peace and trust, always defending and promoting human dignity, and that they reiterate their conviction to work together to uphold and advance the fundamental freedom of religion for all.

In their Joint Communique, they note that ten years ago, after decades of separation, we, the religious leaders of Cyprus, came together for the first time in the history of Cyprus, adding that we started to listen to one another, to work together and to support each other to improve the situation for freedom of religion or belief in Cyprus and together contribute to healing and reconciliation of our communities.

As we take stock of the last ten years of our joint efforts, we are proud that a lot has been achieved despite the challenges, obstacles and even setbacks. We remain steadfast in our belief that only respectful communication can build bridges, establish trust and nurture confidence within and between our communities. We are convinced that if we want to go far, we need to walk the long road ahead of us together as people of faith and as religious leaders, they say.

They also give thanks to the Government of Sweden for its steadfast support to the Office of the RTCYPP and the Embassy of Sweden in Cyprus for its Auspices.

We reiterate our strong conviction to continue to work together to uphold and advance the fundamental freedom of religion for all. We know full well that only with real courage we will be able to stay together to seek truth, purify memories and restore basic human rights. In particular we will continue to advocate and work together for our right to access, administer, protect and restore our own religious monuments in Cyprus and stand up for the right to worship, which has been denied, controlled or violated for far too long, they point out.

The five Religious Leaders say that with God’s grace and blessing we will continue to support each other and stand united to contribute to building trust between our communities, restore broken relationships, heal the wounds of the past and sow the seeds of reconciliation in Cyprus.

To mark the tenth anniversary of our peacebuilding efforts, we call on: All Cypriots to join us in our efforts to protect the religious heritage of Cyprus and advance freedom of religion for all; The political leadership of Cyprus to have the courage to increase their support to our unprecedented joint gesture for peace, as well as our common request to ensure unhindered freedom of worship, religion and belief in Cyprus; The international community to support our joint messages for human rights and continue to acknowledge the role of the religious leaders of Cyprus in peacebuilding, they say.

In conclusion, they assure that they will continue to pray for Cyprus and for each other, adding that we invite our respective communities to join us in prayer to strengthen our faith in God the Almighty and commit ourselves to building a culture of peace and trust, always defending and promoting human dignity.

Source: Cyprus News Agency