The International Meeting “Thirst for Peace: Religions and cultures in dialogue” takes place in Assisi from September 18 to 20, 2016. Thirty years after the historical Day of Prayer for Peace promoted by the late Pope John Paul II on October 27, 1986, representatives of different religions and cultures who believe that the “Spirit of Assisi” could bring peace in a world wounded by violence and war, are meeting for three days, for dialogue and prayer. Among the participants: His Holiness the Pope of Rome Francis, His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Andrea Riccardi — founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio and Olav Fykse Tveit — General Secretary of the World Council of Churches.
In his address at the opening session on September 18, His All Holiness underlined that “as faith communities and religious leaders, we are obliged constantly to remind people about the obligation and responsibility to choose peace through dialogue. The pursuit, however, of dialogue and peace calls for a radical reversal of what has become the normative way of the world. It demands a transformation of values that are deeply seeded in our heart and society. Transformation in the spiritual sense is our only hope of breaking the cycle of violence and injustice”.
Along these 30 years the Spirit of Assisi reached many cities of the world through the International Meetings “Men and Religions”, promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio in cooperation with local dioceses, where the representatives of the religions of the world and people of culture and politics meet together in dialogue and pray, building the base for a future of peace.