Faith leaders from all over the world gathered to discuss what role religion could play in establishing peace in society in a ‘Conference of World Religions.’
Around 500 delegates including faith leaders, politicians, government officials, academics and members of the diplomatic corps united to discuss ‘God in the 21st Century.’
Many senior guests were invited including, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP, Archbishop Kevin Mc Donald, Sheikh Mofaq Tarif Leader of the Druze community of Israel and Umesh Sharma Chairman of the Hindu Council UK.
During his key note address Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community stressed the importance of uniting faiths towards global peace, he said: “The Urgent and critical need of the world today is to establish peace and faith in God.
“If the world understood this reality then all countries, whether large or small, would not, in the name of defence spending, allocate millions and billions of dollars to expand their military capabilities. Rather they would spend that wealth to feed the hungry, to provide universal education and to improve the living standards of the developing world.”
He went on to say that all major religions of the world taught its followers the importance of love and compassion towards one another, and if these original teachings were upheld today it would lead to a harmonious society, free from conflict and war.
He also went on to clarify that any wars fought in the era of the Prophet Muhammad were fought to ‘end cruelty’ and ‘establish peace’, he said: “Those wars fought to expand kingdoms and to increase power were not in any way fought in accordance with the teachings of Islam as taught by the Holy Qur’an.”
The conference was organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK as part of its Centenary celebrations. The event was held at the historic Guildhall in the city of London.
Baroness Warsi, Senior Minister of State at the Foreign Office praised the peaceful efforts of the community: “It is a testament to the openness, the pragmatism and the humility of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that their flagship global event celebrated all faiths.”
Sheikh Moafaq Tarif, Spiritual Head of the Druze Community of Israel said: “All the great religions agree on the Unity of God…Let us al come together and join hands together against violence.”
Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, the Attorney General said: “The Right of individual conscience is the basis of everything and it is essential that people are free to practice their religions without coercion of any kind. I would also like to thank Your Holiness (Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for its astonishing contribution to the United Kindgom.”
The conference also included messages of support from the Dalai Lama, Prime Minister David Cameron and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Geshe Tashi Tsering delivered a message from the Dalai Lama which said: “Virtues of love and altruism are the basis of all religions and so a respect for all religions is essential. All religions are a means of inner peace. I give my full heartfelt support to the Conference of World Religions.”