Young Filipinos opposed to the US war on Iraq

Statement of the Religions for Peace Philippines Interfaith Youth Network

National Youth Leaders Interfaith Cooperation Conference
Bp. La Verne D. Mercado Ecumenical Center,
National Council of Churches in the Philippines
Quezon City, Philippines
August 24-27, 2007

We are youth of diverse backgrounds; our faiths, cultures and traditions differentiate and separate us in many ways. Yet, we are united by our longing for peace, justice, and morality that the dismal situation of our society had denied from us.

We are a newly formed network of various faith and culture based national youth organizations that promote religious and ethnic dialogue and advocacy for genuine peace through mutual understanding and cooperation, in collaboration with the Religions for Peace Philippines and other like-minded organizations.

We, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Indigenous Peoples and advocates, work for genuine and lasting peace, justice, and morality through the lenses of our faiths. The deteriorating state of our society compelled us to unite, which on our own would be a tremendous task to overcome.

We take courage to face the challenge to overcome all forms of discrimination, oppression, and domination, to resist anti-people policies, to defend human rights and to continue the journey with the people’s struggle for their right to self-determination, and religious-ethnic harmony.

The three-day conference managed to identify the following issues of the renewed and escalating war in Mindanao and other areas experiencing armed hostilities, Indigenous People’s ancestral land, human rights and the fragile peace process as its primary concerns to be addressed.

The participants have likewise agreed to carryout education and awareness raising programs, advocacies and campaigns and special projects relevant to the needs of the people. We also have agreed to issue a statement of concern to stop the war in Mindanao and to express deep concern over the miserable situation of the displaced families and communities.

Therefore, we the members of the Religions for Peace Philippine Interfaith Youth Network, affirms that hope lies in the combined strength and wisdom each of us have committed to share. We as young people uphold our historic role and responsibility to contribute in the clamor of many to effect meaningful change in society in solidarity with various sectors working for a just, peaceful and prosperous Philippine society.