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‘Misuse of religion biggest threat to world peace’


New Delhi: Rampant misuse of religion to exploit societies poses one of the biggest threat to global peace and surpasses even the increasing incidents of communal conflicts, according to Nobel Laureate Leymah R Gbowee.

“As far as world peace is concerned, our biggest challenge today is not religious conflicts but people’s misuse of religion as a means of exploiting societies, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate told PTI.

On her first visit to India, Ghana-based Gbowee participated in the recent event “Nobel Solutions” where six Nobel laureates from different fields and across the world came together to discuss mankind’s biggest problems and propose possible solutions.

According to the 43-year-old Liberian peace activist, it is time that religious leaders took a step forward and made efforts to the process of peace building by initiating dialogues and not leave the task on politicians alone.

“I think there is a need for lot of dialogue but also it is time for global religious leader is to realise that it is not enough to leave peace-making and peace building to the politicians,” she said.

Responsible for leading the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, Gbowee brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003 thorough her “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace building work,” ushering in a period of peace in her country and enabled a free election in 2005.

The movement began when she received, what she calls “God’s message” to bring the women of two different faiths together to pray for peace.

“It was literally a voice telling me to bring the Christian and Muslim women together to pray for peace and that was how it all started,” she said adding that women have always played their roles as “advocates of peace.”

“Women try to keep the peace when there are conflicts; women try to bring people together to talk about it. You rarely see women taking up guns until recently when we see female suicide bombers, but women have always played their roles for advocates for peace,” she said.

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