A Joint Statement of the Convenors of the Bishops-Ulama Conference on the occasion of the celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace, November 27-December 3, 2008.

OUR sacred scriptures, the Holy Bible and the Holy Qur’an, reveal God’s/Allah’s eternal desire to unite His human creatures in whose image they were created. As divinely created beings, men and women mirror this godly image when there is harmony within and outside their very selves.

This harmony is what is meant by integrity of mind and heart. The Hebrew word shalom and the Arabic world salam, peace in English, encapsulize this authentic and lasting foundation of true peace that must reign within and among individuals, societies and nations.

Since time immemorial the individual human self has experienced division and fragmentation. This was, and is still being caused, by ungodly and selfish desires/actions thereby causing violence within the self and on fellow human beings. All these were, and still are, the real causes of conflicts and wars. Cessation of hostilities, eirene in Greek for peace, and written accord, pax in Latin for peace, were and are only steps to the divine gift of shalom and salam.

It is therefore imperative on the Abrahamic, Ebrahimic, and indigenous communities of Christians, Muslims and Lumads, led by their respective religious leaders, to bring about durable and lasting peace through the integrity of mind and heart, humbly expressed in the reconciling process of repentance and forgiveness. Only this process, bolstered by socio-economic and political projects, can heal the wide wounds of the spirit.

We urge all Mindanaoans, our fellow believers, to make this reconciliation process a top priority among our activities during the Mindanao Week of Peace 2008, which starts on November 27 until December 3 – and beyond.

May God/Allah/Magbabaya bless us all!

Archbishop of Davao

UCCP Bishop Emeritus

Ulama League of the Philippines

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