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Home » Featured Stories » RELIGIONS UNITED FOR PEACE AND SOLIDARITY | AdZU Joins Religious Leaders for Prayers for Peace and Human Solidarity

RELIGIONS UNITED FOR PEACE AND SOLIDARITY | AdZU Joins Religious Leaders for Prayers for Peace and Human Solidarity

City of Zamboanga, Zamboanga Peninsula, Philippines – In a momentous convergence marking the 2024 World Interfaith Harmony Week, Ateneo de Zamboanga University gathered NGO focal persons and Religious leaders for “Prayers for Peace and Human Solidarity” –  a crusade towards fostering positive transformations for global peace.

Breakfast for Peace: A Gathering of Peace Advocates

A COUNCIL OF PEACE MAKERS | Delegates sit together on the same table creating the initial building blocks for the creation of peace advocacies through community empowerment and collaboration. This is a council of peacemakers united under one mission and open to all faiths and cultures.

Community leaders sitting at the same table and holding peaceful discussions over a shared meal is a powerful symbol of diplomacy, unity, and convergence. To tap into the great possibilities this simple gathering holds, AdZU President Fr Guillrey Anthony M Andal SJ met with Madrasatu Ahlil-Bay President Sheikh Denil A Anwari, Al-Makhdumeen Islamic Center’s Sheikh Al-Musadif Milaham Jubail, Naqshbandi Philippines’ Sheikh Hajji Muhammad Khalid Ismael and Al-Jamar Ismael, Associate Lead and Evangelical Convenor for CAMACOP Rev Rogelio “Budy” Alfaro Jr, PIME-Silsilah Dialogue Movement Founder Fr Sebastiano D’Ambra, IPS Kagawad Elorde J Amalan, Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) President Dr Rufina Cruz, ABPIA Vice President Bro Salman Galang, Amores Interfaith representatives Melgani Sali and Ismael E Mirabuena Jr, PAZ-ISP Sr Ma Virginia B Benito OP, PAZ representative Fr Dante C Boringgot CMF, and RSMSW- Director for WMSU Peace and Human Security Institute Ludivina Borja-Dekit for a Breakfast Prayer.

ADDRESSES THE GATHERING WITH HOPEFUL ANTICIPATION | University President Fr Guillrey Anthony M Andal SJ speaks before the event’s honoured guests. He expresses his gratitude and anticipation to witness the fruits of this congregation in the near future.

The collaborative initiative was held at the AdZU Lantaka Campus last January 26, 2024. The gathering took on a breakfast setting, fostering inclusivity and shared humanity while emphasizing that peace starts with recognizing connection others. Far from a solemn ceremony, the breakfast was graced with prayers from leaders of various religions and denominations, promoting dialogue and understanding across faiths. The concept of “breaking bread,” a universal symbol of sharing and building community, inspired the event’s timing during breakfast, enhancing the symbolic act of a meaningful shared experience.

A Promise for Peace: Working Towards a Shared Vision

A MEANINGFUL PACT SEALED | Zamboanga City’s religious leaders take turns signing the Pledge of Commitment. This symbolic act solidifies their oath of creating a better society through the crafting of peace advocacies and meaningful interaction with the communities.

In a symbolic gesture of unity, the Prayers for Peace and Human Solidarity participants signed the Pledge of Commitment, a joint promise that signifies a shared dedication to fostering a more peaceful and compassionate environment not only within Zamboanga City but also in its neighboring provinces and beyond. The collaboration answers the call toward the creation of advocacy policies that will promote peace through a meaningful blending of cultures and ideas. The participants committed themselves to cultivating empathy and understanding to actively engage and embrace dialogue with those from different backgrounds, becoming ambassadors of peace to raise voices against injustice and oppression by supporting organizations working towards peaceful conflict resolution and social change, and advocating for policies that promote peace to connect and urge local and national leaders to support legislation and initiatives that addresses the root causes of conflict and promotes inclusion.

COMMITMENT TO ADVOCACY POLICIES | Participants gather with the Pledge of Commitment, signifying their promise to answer to the call of peace advocacy policies.

Gratitude and Hope for Future Gatherings

ARMS LINKED FOR A SHARED MISSION | A powerful image of collaboration and mutual understanding – religious leaders join forces to tackle the challenges of a shared noble mission.
From left to right: University President Fr Guillrey Anthony M Andal SJ; Founder of Silsilah Dialogue Movement Fr Sebastiano D’Ambra; Naqshbandi Philippines’ Sheikh Hajji Muhammad Khalid Ismael; President of Madrasatu Ahlil-Bay Sheikh Denil A Anwari; CAMACOP Associate Lead and Evangelical Convenor Rev Rogelio “Budy” Alfaro Jr;  and Kagawad IPS & Representative of Timuay Martin Guinilac Elorde J Amalan.

This prayerful assembly transcends the boundaries of specific faiths and doctrines and emphasizes our shared human yearning for peace.

The event’s message brings together individuals from varied religious backgrounds, amplifying their collective voice of unity and hope to the world – all these through the guidance of prayer and reflection.

AdZU expresses its deepest gratitude to its partners for answering the invitation to build budding pillars of peace, cultivate a space for interfaith dialogue and understanding, and help dismantle the culture of war and violence in the world.

ADVOCATES FOR PEACE | AdZU Community heads and the city’s religious leaders gather for a commemorative shot together with other important guests. Veterans and youths alike are all welcome to be part of this crusade of peace.

The AdZU’s Office of the President, Social Development Office (SDO), Ateneo Peace Institute (API), and the Office of Assistant to the President for Formation served as the organizers of the event.