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<< News >>

National News

Tuesday, 24 February, 2009 1:30 PM

Religious Leaders Key To Peace in Middle East

Expert Says There Will Be No Peace Accord Unless Religious Leaders Are Part of the Process

Photo credit: www.langdonstreetpress.com

"The Thirteenth Apostle"

 

With the results of the recent elections in Israel still murky, a new US Secretary of State, a new cease fire agreement and a renewed emphasis on the peace process, Arkady Povzikov, author of The Thirteenth Apostle, Langdon Street Press (www.arkadybooks.com), believes the prospects for an accord are still mired in the same old problem.

“No peace accord will work, regardless of who signs it, if the religious leaders of the region aren’t included in the process,” Povzikov said. “Political leaders may make policy, but the religious leaders hold the hearts and minds of the people. Palestinian political leaders struggle to keep their more militant factions dormant during cease fires, because their religious leaders are busy stoking the fire.”

In regions so dramatically divided along religious lines, it logically follows that it’s religious leaders – not diplomats – would be the most effective brokers of peace, Povzikov added. However, those who practice other religions have their own lists of how the world would be a perfect place if the other religions would fall in line behind theirs.

“The sad irony is that Christians tend to think that if only Islam would shed its more radical elements and gravitate to a more moderate position, perhaps the major problems of the world could be solved. In the meantime, the more radical elements of Islam won’t stop until the world sees their view. It becomes a game of ‘my God is better than your God,’ and no one wins.”

Povzikov said that the radical elements of each religion make up a relatively insignificant population, and these elements are not traditionally respected by the mainstream of each culture.

“Think of it like this: Islam is to Islamic extremists as Christianity is to the Ku Klux Klan,” Povzikov said. “No mainstream Christian family believes in lynchings and racism the same way that no mainstream Islamic family believes in terrorism and destruction. So, if we believe the same things in our own cultures, why can’t we work together to solve our global problems? Everybody thinks their religion is the One,” Povzikov said. “But if the religions of the world would agree to tackle serious world problems together, you could bring millions of hearts, hands and minds together to find a solution.”

At the end of the day, Povzikov believes that any lasting peace must include the participation of religious leaders.

“Any true campaign for peace in many of the troubled regions of the world must include a seat at the table for religious leaders, but it cannot be a stage for them to spout the same old demagoguery and hatred,” Povzikov said. “We must remember that it is only the extremists who advocate violence, and that the millions of followers of Islam and other non-Christian religions favor peaceful coexistence to violence and chaos. If we can gather leaders from both the spiritual and political elements of these countries, we may have the first real chance for peace that these regions have seen in a thousand years.”

About Arkady Povzikov

Povzikov was born in Leningrad in the former Soviet Union. After studying economics, he immigrated to Canada in 1973. After graduating from high school and the Industrial College he served in the Soviet Army. In1987 Arkady began writing his first novel Goodbye to the Nevsky, a fiction based novel that told the story of his own unique experiences in life, and it was published in 1991. Arkady’s second novel The Purpose was published in 2005. His third and most recent novel The Thirteenth Apostle was published in May 2008 through Langdon Street Press.

Source: News and Experts

 

 

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