The videos of the event
A wind of peace blows in the shadow of the Colosseum. Religious and political leaders, united by the meeting "People as brothers, future earth" attended the final ceremony and the delivery of the appeal for peace by the children, symbol of the new generations called to build a world of peace.
Believers of all faiths prayed for peace, in different places, and then met again at the Colosseum: it is the "spirit of Assisi" that continues to inspire the interreligious meetings since 1986, when John Paul II brought together the world religions in the city of St Francis. It is not a ritual, but a reminder that, "peace awaits its makers" as said by the Pope. Our world, in fact, is "forgetting the lessons of the second world war" - maintains the founder of Sant'Egidio, Andrea Riccardi - and war is "no longer a ghost of the past, but a constant threat".
We need to "demilitarise the heart of men", to sell fewer guns and distribute vaccines better, Pope Francis stated, also echoed by the great Imam Al Tayyeb. Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the head of a country that, after the horrors of the Second World War, has made "respect for human dignity" the cornerstone of its Constitution, hoped that "this spirit of communion will be reflected far beyond Rome and today's day".
"People are of two types: either they are your brothers in faith or your fellow human beings," the Pope recalled. It is then necessary to seek peace with "religious and national narratives" as Rabbi Goldschmidt echoed him. The final appeal, read by Afghan refugee Sabera Ahmadi, said that "people as brothers and future earth" are in fact "indissolubly linked" and the pandemic "has shown how human beings are in the same boat, bound by deep threads. Hope, therefore, can be found in those jubilant children who today, in the half-light of the Colosseum, greeted the religious leaders. In fact, as Andrea Riccardi concluded, "we are at the appointment of a new world, determined to treasure the painful lesson of the history of women and men, determined to build it with everyone, especially the poor and the young'.