CATEGORY . Faith and the Global Agenda: Values for the Post-Crisis Economy


Faith and the Global Agenda: Values for the Post-Crisis Economy : Finally, we express our deep appreciation to the Partners of the Faith Community of the World Economic Forum for their support: HRH Prince Hussam bin Saud bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Saudi Arabia The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, USA Xenel Group, Saudi Arabia/The current economic crisis should warn us to fundamentally rethink the development of the moral framework and the regulatory mechanisms that underpin our economy, politics and global interconnectedness. It would be a wasted opportunity for all of us if we pretended that the crisis was simply a momentary hurdle. If we want to keep society together, then a sense of community and solidarity are more important now than ever before.The most fundamental question today is whether we can adopt a more communitarian spirit or whether we will fall back into old habits and excesses, thereby further undermining social peace. /This Report, Faith and the Global Agenda:Values for the Post-Crisis Economy, produced by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Georgetown University, is the first effort of its kind, seeking to enhance understanding of the values that will be vital for our collective future and the positive role that faith plays in articulating those values. In the first section of the Report, we aim to benchmark public opinion on values. In the second section, we bring together the unique wealth of information that leaders of the world’s religions can offer on this topic. In the final section, we provide an overview of the major developments in the realm of faith and the global agenda that took place in 2009. ///Religion and faith communities are vital to this dialogue. Recognizing their unique and essential role in redesigning the post-crisis world, the World Economic v Preface Preface Forum has implemented a strategic shift in its engagement of faith communities, expanding beyond a focus on Islam-West dialogue and instead seeking to engage faith communities on a broader set of topics of global relevance, including education, health, climate change, values and business ethics. First, religious leaders from multiple faiths are invited to use the platform offered by the World Economic Forum to engage in a highlevel dialogue with other stakeholder groups and to share their expertise on a broad range of topics relevant to the global agenda, including interfaith understanding, the interface between religion and science, values and ethics, climate change, education, health and the role of religion in development.///Spiritual Values in the Face of Global Problems/PROF MUSTAFA ÇAG˘ RICI, Grand Mufti of Istanbul///Diffusion of the world view and moral attitude instigated by modernism has led to individualism, selfishness, hedonism and obsession with consumerism in the name of freedom, though it is in fact solely in the pursuit of earning and spending.Today, social organs such as the state, politics, education and the economy are utilized as opportunities and possibilities of satisfying these insatiable drives, which disrupt the equilibrium once normal production capacities prove insufficient. It is in this way that the causes of economic imbalance, crises and global environmental problems arise.....But now, for the first time in the known history of man, the positivist and hedonistic perception of humankind and the world, a product of Western modernism, has engulfed all cultures in the globalization process. Consequently, the bonds of unity and love between humankind and those above us, those around us and those below us (that is to say, our bonds with Almighty God, with our fellow humans and with nature) have begun to fall apart. In this process of disintegration, humankind has thrown off a number of moral bonds placed upon us by sacred laws for our own good. Hence, humankind aimed to achieve freedom by rebelling against Allah, and exploiting nature at will......Moreover, when it encountered weaker members of its own species, it demonstrated its own strength by crushing them, and proceeded to develop a political and economic order on this basis. In response, man idolized the self, became enslaved to it and began to worship its desires, and the object of its desires, and to make the satisfaction of its obsessions with domination and pleasure-seeking the sole purpose of his life and existence. Thus modern man, who deifies the self—to use the words of the Holy Qur’an—is using all his strength to burn, ruin, pollute, consume, kill and destroy in order to satisfy his desires.A single citizen of the United States of America consumes 24 times more than an African.This alone is sufficient to illustrate the backwardness, cruelty and destructiveness in moral terms of this supposedly “advanced civilization”. Meanwhile, there are hundreds of millions who have been downtrodden and reduced to desperation. Like any living creature backed into a corner, these miserable human masses are growing angry, rebellious and destructive.....Hundreds of verses in the Qur’an speak of friendship and brotherhood, integrity, forgiveness, selfsacrifice, patience, forbearance, gentleness, soberness, tranquillity, circumspection, love, kindness, mercy and the virtue of sharing one’s produce with others. ------Globalization and Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations PRESIDENT SEYED MOHAMMAD KHATAMI [Dr Mohammad Khatami is an Iranian scholar and politician. His Excellency served as the fifth President of Iran from 2 August 1997 to 3 August 2005, and also served as Iran’s Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s.]......Those powers who see themselves as the selfproclaimed leaders of the world, or others who are under the influence of the wealth and the scientific, technological and political might of great powers, especially the United States, rely on this narrative of globalization in hopes of Westernizing—and, at another level, Americanizing—the world to create a new world order with a power like America at its centre. Some politicians in developing countries also favour this narrative of globalization, as it lends legitimacy to restrictions and resistance against the inescapable realities of the world. This political narrative of globalization creates a bipolar environment vis-à-vis cultural, social and national identities. In this bipolar environment, there is disappearance of local identities on the one hand, and resistance against global conspiracy on the other. Such a mentality breeds frightening policies such as pre-emptive war on the one hand, and terrorist violence on the other, which together have made the world more insecure.These are terrifying trends that have peaked over the past few years and are, unfortunately, still continuing...../There is another narrative of globalization. In this narrative, globalization encourages and strengthens local traditions. In this narrative, a globalization trend existed before this new turning point.That trend, called modernity, gave priority to culture..... ----Statement on the Global Financial and Economic Crisis KIRILL I, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia////The present economic crisis is not only a global one but is also systemic in nature. It is a crisis of values, a crisis of worldviews. History has unequivocally confirmed that ways of settling political, economic and humanitarian problems facing humanity today should be sought not only in the area of re-distribution of wealth or improvement of managerial technologies but also in the spiritual area......welfare.The dominance of the US dollar in the international financial system has ensured an unsupported and unlimited credit for the United States at the expense of the rest of the countries in the world, enabling it to control the majority of the world market and thus undermining the fundamental principles of equal competitive opportunities for all participants in the world economic system. In this connection, Russia’s declared policy of giving the rouble the status of a regional reserve currency and turning Russia into an independent centre of financial policy certainly deserves support as a major means of preserving national sovereignty.......Without a solid basis in values, however, any transformation of the existing socioeconomic model cannot be productive.A feasible new model of global development should be based on the principles of justice, efficiency and social solidarity. A people seeking to embody these principles in their economic work will undoubtedly possess competitive advantages in a situation of crisis. In this situation, Russia—with its age-long culture based on such values as conciliarity, self-restriction, moderation, selflessness and patriotism—can and must set an example of wellconsidered and responsible policy of modernization of its economy and social system supported by the traditional ideals of its people.....----- 55 Asking the Right Questions: Wallis The current economic crisis presents Americans with an enormous opportunity: to rediscover our values—as people, as families, as communities of faith and as a nation. It is a moment of decision we dare not pass by. We have forgotten some very important things, and it’s time to remember them again.Yes, we do need an economic recovery, but we also need a moral recovery—on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street.And we will need a moral compass for the new economy that is emerging. /The Great Recession that has gripped the world, defined the moment, and captured all of our attention has also revealed a profound values crisis. Just beneath the surface of the economics debate in the United States, a deep national reflection is begging to take place and, indeed, has already begun in people’s heads, hearts, and conversations.The questions it raises are about our personal, family, and national priorities; about our habits of the heart, about our measures of success, about the values of our families and our children, about our spiritual well-being, and about the ultimate goals and purposes of life—including our economic life. /Underneath the public discourse, another conversation is emerging about who and what we want to be— as individuals, as a nation, and as a human community. By and large, the media have missed the deeper discussion and continue to focus only upon the surface of the crisis. And most of our politicians just want to tell us how soon the crisis can be over. But there are deeper questions here and some fundamental choices to make. That’s why this could be a transformational moment, one of those times that comes around only very occasionally. We don’t want to miss this opportunity. The wrong questions /For some time now, we’ve been asking the wrong questions. Television, magazines, and our whole popular culture, in ad after ad, have asked us:What is the fastest way to make money? How do you beat your coworker for the next promotion? Is your house bigger than your neighbor’s? Are you keeping up with the Joneses? What do you need to buy next that will truly make you happy? What is wrong with you, and how could you change that? What should you protect yourself from? I remember every morning, during the 2009 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, CNN interviewed a bundled-up CEO with the dramatic snowy Magic Mountain of Davos, Switzerland, in the background. It was always the same reporter, and the question was always the same: When will this crisis be over? CNN actually had a whiteboard, where each CEO would write his or her answer predicting when the economic crisis would finally be over: 2009 . . . 2010 . . . 2011 . . . later. All the delegates to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting woke up every morning in their hotel rooms to that CNN discussion. /But on an unusual plenary panel at Davos titled “The Values Behind Market Capitalism,” I suggested that CNN was asking the wrong question. Of course, we all want to know when the crisis will end. But the much more important question is, How will this crisis change us? How will it change the ways we think, act, and decide things; how we prioritize and value our success, how we do business, and how we live our lives? Yes, this is a structural crisis that clearly calls for new social regulation. But it is also a spiritual crisis that calls for new selfregulation. We seem to have lost some things and forgotten some basics—like our oldest and best values. /Misplaced trust /We have trusted in the “invisible hand” of the market to make everything turn out all right, and we have believed that it wasn’t necessary for us to bring virtue to bear on our decisions. But things haven’t turned out all right, and the invisible hand has let go of some crucial ideals—like the common good.The common good hasn’t been very common in our economic decision making for some time now. And the situation has spun out of control. /Asking the Right Questions JIM WALLIS, President and CEO, Sojourners Jim Wallis is a bestselling author, public theologian, speaker and international commentator on faith and public life. He is President and CEO of Sojourners and is editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine ( He blogs regularly at Wallis frequently speaks around the country and his columns appear in major newspapers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. He is a husband, father of two young boys and a Little League baseball coach. /This essay is based on Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street and Your Street: A Moral See ARTICLE

Faith and the Global Agenda 2009: The Year in Review
THOMAS BANCHOFF, Georgetown University
Box 1: World religious demography, 2009
Christians 2.3 billion
Muslims 1.5 billion
Hindus 929 million
Buddhists 470 million
Sikhs 24 million
Jews 15 million
Source: World Religion Database.
The Year in Review 2009: Banchoff
market economy” dependent on “each individual’s sense
of moral responsibility, self-discipline, and values.”
The Sunni Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi
saw a root cause of the crisis in unethical borrowing
and lending practices. “If you are under debt, you are
suffering”, he told an interfaith gathering in Doha, Qatar.
“And what is applicable to individuals is applicable to
states, too.”
For the leader of the Ismaili Muslim community,
the Aga Khan, globalization made it “mandatory, more
than ever, for us to seek approaches and solutions that
are holistic to the challenges and the opportunities of
Relating the economic crisis to a general crisis of
moral authority, UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks held
that “what has been lost is trust, our trust in those we
chose to look after our affairs, and trust is the basis of
Meeting around the June 2009 G-8 summit in
Rome, a group of some 120 religious leaders lamented
“a time of economic crisis and spiritual disorientation
for the men and women of our time.” Representatives
of the Abrahamic faiths, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism
and indigenous traditions invoked “the spiritual wisdom
entrusted to the great world religions so as to steer an
ethical path to justice and human flourishing.”
One effort to outline such a path was the manifesto
for a “Global Economic Ethic” launched by the Swiss-
German theologian Hans Küng at an October 2009
meeting co-hosted by the UN Global Compact in
New York. First signatories included former president
of Ireland Mary Robinson and Nobel Peace Prize
Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.
The UN, values and faith communities
UN institutions acknowledged the values dimension of
the crisis along with a positive role for faith communities.
As early as November 2008, an intercultural and interfaith
dialogue convened by the UN with the support of Saudi
Arabia underscored the values-economics connection.
In his address to the participants, the President of the
General Assembly, Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, called
on states to make solidarity and social responsibility
guiding economic principles.
During the first half of 2009, the UN sponsored an
extended dialogue on “The World Financial and
Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development”. It
emphasized “the indivisibility of our collective wellbeing
and the unsustainability of a narrow focus on
short-term gains”, calling for “a global consensus on
the key values and principles that will promote sustainable,
fair and equitable economic development.”
In August 2009, the United Nations Population
Fund hosted a Policy Roundtable on Working with
Faith-based Organizations. Its director,Thoraya Ahmed
Obaid, told the participants that “the critical personal and
community-based connection between the people and
the faith-based organization centres providing services”
made it strategic to engage them as partners.
The most concerted UN outreach to faith communities’
efforts took place under the auspices of the Alliance
of Civilizations (see Box 2). A key theme of its forum in
Istanbul in April 2009 was the link between economic
crisis and religious and social conflict.“Too many people
are jobless, hungry and angry”, UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-Moon told the gathering.“Many are looking for
scapegoats.They blame the Other.The Other community.
The Other religion.The Other faith.The Other group.”
In Istanbul, the Alliance promoted intercultural dialogue
strategies for national governments and multilateral
organizations to foster “good governance of cultural
diversity.”The meeting sought to identify and support
effective grassroots partnerships designed to advance the
goal of respect between cultures.
Over the course of 2009, a coalition of interfaith
organizations, including Religions for Peace and the
United Religions Initiative, began a drive to make
2011–2020 a “UN Decade for Inter-religious and
Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding, and Cooperation
for Peace.”
President Barack Obama’s New Beginning
Upon taking office in January 2009, President Barack
Obama set out to improve US relations with the Muslim
world.The centrepiece of his strategy was a June 2009
address in Cairo entitled “A New Beginning”.
“America and Islam are not exclusive and need not
be in competition”, Obama told students in Cairo and a
worldwide audience. “Instead, they overlap and share
common principles—principles of justice and progress;
tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
Such principles, he suggested, might inform deeper
cooperation between the United States and Muslimmajority
countries around common challenges including
violent extremism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
Box 2: The UN Alliance of Civilizations
Founded in 2005, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
originated as a joint initiative of the governments of Spain
and Turkey. Its High-level Group released a 2006 report with
recommendations on how to improve interreligious and intercultural
understanding worldwide. Since then, the Alliance
has organized two major forums—in Madrid in January 2008
and in Istanbul in April 2009—and launched practical initiatives
centred in the areas of media and education.
The Year in Review 2009: Banchoff
nuclear proliferation, democracy-building, religious
freedom, women’s rights and economic development.
Obama’s appeal was personal as well as political.
“I’m a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan
family that includes generations of Muslims”, he
reminded his listeners. He went on to cite the Qur’an,
the Talmud, and the New Testament, and concluded:
“The people of the world can live together in peace.We
know that is God’s vision. Now that must be our work
here on Earth.”
Reaction to the speech was generally positive within
the Muslim world, although often coupled with calls for
concrete progress, particularly on the Israeli-Palestinian
issue. On that front little changed in 2009, with both
sides remaining far apart on the issues of security, settlements,
the status of Jerusalem and the fate of refugees.
The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also
complicated the new administration’s outreach to the
Muslim world. In his December 2009 acceptance speech
for the Nobel Peace Prize, just weeks after announcing
a further US troop build-up in Afghanistan, Obama
lamented that “religion is used to justify the murder of
innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the
great religion of Islam, and who attacked my country
from Afghanistan.”
Here as elsewhere, Obama did not single out Islam
for criticism.“These extremists are not the first to kill
in the name of God”, he noted.“The cruelties of the
Crusades are amply recorded.” In opposition to faithinspired
violence he held up the ideal of the Golden
Rule “that lies at the heart of every major religion.”
Over the course of 2009, Iran offered a critical
example of Obama’s efforts to engage the Muslim
world. In the wake of the country’s disputed June
2009 elections, he provided verbal support to the prodemocracy
movement while also seeking to engage the
Iranian government in dialogue on regional security
and nuclear issues. At year’s end, anti-government
demonstrations and state repression persisted and USIranian
ties remained tense.
Religious minorities, discrimination and violence
The year 2009 saw several high-profile examples of
violence and discrimination involving religious minorities.
• In July 2009 in Pakistan, rumours that a Qur’an
had been desecrated during a wedding in the
Christian village of Korrian sparked mob violence.
The village was destroyed and eight Christians were
reported killed.
• The next month in India, Hindu extremists opposed
to Christian proselytism among untouchables
launched a series of attacks in the state of Orissa.
According to press reports, 59 people were killed,
about 50,000 were displaced and over 150 churches
were destroyed.
• During the summer, violence also erupted in China’s
Xinjiang Province, where tensions between the
native Muslim Uyghur minority and Han Chinese
majority sparked bloody clashes eventually quelled
by the government.The official death toll was 197,
with 1,721 injured.
• Elsewhere in Asia, a long-running territorial, ethnic
and religious conflict came to an end in May 2009.
The Sri Lankan military defeated and killed the
leader of the separatist Tamil Tigers,Velupillai
Prabhakaran, unifying the island under its political
• In Africa, ethnic and religious divisions continued
to exacerbate violence in 2009, particularly in the
Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In Nigeria in July 2009, battles erupted in four
northeastern cities between the militant Islamist
group Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces.
The violence left some 700 dead, including Boko
Haram’s leader Mohammed Yusuf.
• The fate of religious minorities was not a major
issue in most of Latin America throughout 2009. In
Venezuela, relations between the government and
the Jewish community in that country did continue
to deteriorate. President Hugo Chavez denounced
the Israeli invasion of Gaza and broke off diplomatic
relations in January 2009.That same month, after
vandals ransacked the largest synagogue in Caracas,
Jewish leaders accused the government of fomenting
Box 3: Public opinion and the defamation of religion
In the months after the UN Human Rights Council’s March
2009 resolution condemning the defamation of religion, global
public opinion remained divided. A 20-nation poll in
November 2009 revealed that majorities in 13 of the countries
(57% of total respondents) believed that “people should
have the right to publicly criticize a religion, because people
should have freedom of speech.” Majorities in the other
seven countries held that “the government should have the
right to fine or imprison people who criticize a religion,
because it could defame the religion.” Public opposition to
the defamation of religions was highest in the Muslim-majority
countries in the survey.
The Year in Review 2009: Banchoff
• Although short of violence, tensions between
Muslim minorities and secular and Christian
majorities flared up in Europe.The Swiss opted, in
a November 2009 referendum, to prohibit minarets,
sparking a global uproar.The Organization of the
Islamic Conference denounced the vote as “a manifest
attack on an Islamic symbol which could only
serve to spread hatred and intolerance towards
Muslims in general and those living in Switzerland
in particular.”
Tensions surrounding Muslim minorities in Europe
in 2009 did not help the cause of Turkish membership
in the European Union. On a trip to Washington, DC, in
December 2009, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
insisted that Turkey did belong in the West and accused
European leaders of retreating from their earlier support
for EU membership.
High-level interfaith dialogue
Over the course of 2009, a series of high-level interfaith
dialogues took place.
Much of the focus was on Christian-Muslim relations.“
A Common Word Between Us and You”, an
initiative launched in 2007 by Muslim scholars, sparked
the creation of a Catholic-Muslim Forum that met at
the Vatican in November 2008, as well as a series of
conferences over the course of 2008–09, at Cambridge,
Yale, the University of South Carolina, and Georgetown
In October 2009, at Georgetown University, former
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair drew a connection
between interfaith initiatives and efforts to meet global
policy challenges.“We, Christians and Muslims, represent
around half the world’s population”, he told the
conference; “if we can get on, the twenty-first century
world can get on.”
The Building Bridges Seminar, an annual Muslim-
Christian theological dialogue sponsored by Archbishop
of Canterbury Rowan Williams, took place in Istanbul
in June 2009.Williams also took part in a Christian
Muslim Forum in February 2009 entitled “Faith in
Finance” that addressed the question:“How can faith
communities educate about the moral and spiritual
values which should underpin economics?”
The issue of values and the economic theme also
played a role in broader interfaith gatherings. At the
annual Sant’Egidio Prayer for Peace gathering, held in
Cracow, Poland, in September 2009, the former head
of the International Monetary Fund Michel Camdessus
proclaimed that “the idolatry of money and the collective
rejection of an ethical foundation for managing
economic affairs” had led to “catastrophe.”
An ambitious effort to bring together religious and
government leaders to discuss ethical and political questions
was the Third Congress of World and Traditional
Religions, which took place in Kazakhstan. In opening
the gathering, President Nursultan Nazarbayev called for
a world in which “religious and other kinds of discrimination
should not exist” and in which progress would
be measured by “high morals and responsibility.”
The same cause was taken up by the largest interfaith
gathering of the year, the Parliament of the World’s
Religions held in Melbourne, Australia, in December
2009. Several thousand participants addressed a wide
variety of themes, including economic and social justice,
gender relations, care for the environment and the rights
of indigenous peoples.The Dalai Lama was among the
Another prominent effort to find common ground
across faith traditions was the Charter for Compassion
launched by British author Karen Armstrong in
November 2009.The culmination of deliberations
among thought leaders and a wider public, the Charter
is organized around the principle that “compassion lies
at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions,
calling us always to treat all others as we wish to
be treated ourselves.”
A sensitive area of interfaith dialogue, Catholic-
Jewish relations, suffered a setback early in January 2009
when Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of
ultraconservative bishop Richard Williamson, a Holocaust
denier.The Vatican noted that Williamson was still barred
from performing priestly functions and demanded he
publicly recant his views of the Holocaust.
However, Catholic-Jewish relations improved
during Benedict’s May 2009 visit to Israel. Only the
third pontiff to make the trip, he met with the country’s
two chief rabbis and political leaders, reassuring his
hosts of his “desire to deepen mutual understanding and
cooperation between the Holy See, the Chief Rabbinate
of Israel and Jewish people throughout the world.”
Below these high-level dialogues and controversies,
interfaith collaboration aimed at particular policy challenges
unfolded on the ground. In December 2009, for
example, the Nigerian Interfaith Action Association
brought the country’s top religious leaders together
Box 4: The media, religion and conflict
Media coverage can exacerbate cultural and religious divisions
when it perpetuates stereotypes. One recent effort to
address this problem is the UN Alliance of Civilizations Rapid
Response Media Mechanism (RRMM), a network of experts
to which journalists can turn for background on unfolding
stories. A first version of the RRMM, a collaboration with the
European Commission, was announced at the Alliance’s April
2009 Istanbul Forum.
The Year in Review 2009: Banchoff
for the launch of Faiths United for Health.The initiative,
designed to mobilize thousands of imams, priests,
pastors and ministers around the importance of malaria
prevention, was supported by the Washington,
DC–based Center for Interfaith Action on Global
Poverty and by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
Faith communities, Copenhagen and climate change
Global warming emerged as a central issue for faith
communities around the world in the run-up to the
December 2009 climate change conference in
Copenhagen. In September, Religions for Peace convened
leaders to endorse an interfaith declaration on the
issue.“We recognize that climate change is not merely
an economic or technical problem, but rather at its core
is a moral, spiritual and cultural one”, the declaration
read.“We must all learn to live together within the
shared limits of our planet.”
There followed a larger gathering of faith leaders at
Windsor Palace in the United Kingdom in November
2009. A collaboration between the Alliance of Religions
and Conservation and the UN Development Programme,
the Windsor meeting elicited some 30 faith commitments
to climate change, ranging from the introduction
of solar power in Chinese Daoist Temples to faith-based
eco-labelling systems within Jewish, Muslim and Hindu
“I have long believed that when government, civil
society and, particularly, religious communities work
towards a common goal, transformational change can
take place”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told
the gathering. Given their numbers and commitments,
he underscored that “the world’s faith communities
occupy a unique position in discussions on the fate of
our planet and accelerating impacts of climate change.”
Other leading religious figures at Windsor echoed
these sentiments. Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt,
maintained that “the question of how to utilize religious
teachings to solve environment-related problems has
become an urgent one.” For Islam, he maintained,
“preserving nature and preventing corruption on earth
is one of the core responsibilities of all believers.”
As the year wound down and the Copenhagen
conference approached, the Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew linked the challenge of climate change
back to the economic and financial crisis with which
the year began.“We have rendered the Market the
centre of our interest, our activities and, finally, of our
life, forgetting that this choice of ours will affect the
lives of future generations”, he proclaimed.“If we
believe that we are no more than consumers, then we
shall seek fulfilment in consuming the whole earth; but
if we believe we are made in the image of God, we
shall act with care and compassion, striving to become
what we are created to be.”
The following is a list of sources for each section of this
• Values and the global economic crisis
• The UN, values and faith communities
• President Barack Obama’s New Beginning
• Religious minorities, discrimination and violence
The Year in Review 2009: Banchoff
• High-level interfaith dialogue
• Faith communities, Copenhagen and climate