Address of Mr Andrew Forrest, Walk Free Foundation and Global Freedom Network
CEREMONY FOR THE SIGNING OF THE JOINT DECLARATION OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS AGAINST SLAVERY
Casina Pio IV, Tuesday, 2 December 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are witnessing history here today with these brave leaders from all faiths from around the world. Let us collectively give them a very big hand.
Faith leaders, you have created history. There has never been such a journey as yours trodden before.
Today we will have the first meeting with the senior Grand Ayatollah from Iran and Iraq with the Holy Father the Pope.
We have almost unprecedented collaboration between Sunni and Shia, Christianity and Islam, in a worldwide effort to end slavery.
I applaud, in particular, the Sunni and Shia who have showed to me their love and support for each other. This was so essential in making this miraculous day happen. My own faith has not fared so well. There has not been a significant public agreement between the Vatican and Lambeth Palace since prior to the Reformation many hundreds of years ago.
I salute the representatives of Christianity and Islam, be you Sunni or Shia, Orthodox, Anglican, Catholic, sons and daughters of Abraham, and all of the other faiths.
My heart, I must admit now, drifts in an ocean of gratitude that also my Hindu, my Buddhist, Hebrew, Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters have made this historical journey of forgiveness and love and for each other. In each faith leader’s obedience of their ancient and holy texts, representing faithfully their prophets of all time who taught the peace and love of humanity.
This is an unprecedented demonstration of faith leaders of the world coming together to draw a line in the sand to end the scourge of slavery. To draw the line in the sand to start the world on its journey to end slavery.
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