Annual peace message – Adopt non-violence as style of politics

Published: 12th December 2016, in 'New Indian Express'

James Kottor(Note: “Si vis pacem, para bellum” (If you wish peace, prepare for war) says a Latin proverb. Look around and see what is happening. The nations of the world are busy doing war, not works of pace. Everyday brings stories of war zones all over the world, especially in the middle east, Africa, Americas and Europe. Actually a third world war is raging, only we don’t call it by that name.

One is left wondering if we are living in a God forsaken world! Definitely we are living in a world that has forsaken God, or any belief in HIM. Otherwise how can a brother turn against a brother and do just the opposite of what God commands: “Thou shalt not kill” Definitely we do not believe in a God who says: “Your names are written in the palm of my hand,” “Even if your mother forgets you, I will not forget you”, “Which father will give a scorpion or snake to a starving child  asking for bread?”  Definitely no such God exists, if we have to judge on the basis of the cutthroat culture the civilized nations are indulging in.

But persons like Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Mandela existed and won wars with non-violence. So just forget about heaven and hell in the next life, think of the hell and heaven we are creating here on earth and become links in the chain of prophets of peace. Forget all religious temples, to build one temple that matters and costs nothing “the temple of your heart” where the true God whose name is “brotherly/sisterly LOVE” is to be enthroned and worshiped. james kottoor, editor)

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis is asking the world's political, economic, religious and media leaders to swap aggression, mud-slinging and revenge for "non-violence" in his annual message of peace published on Monday.

His slogan? "Non-violence as a style of politics for peace". And those with clout in an increasingly poisonous society should be "refusing to discard people, harm the environment, or seek to win at any cost".

The Argentine's message — which will be read out in Catholic churches on January 1, 2017 – was published after a particularly intense weekend of violence, from a deadly bombing in Turkey to an attack on a Coptic church in Egypt. It also comes amid debate about the growth of fake and malicious online news, and its possible influence on the US presidential election and Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

The pope cited Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King as models of non-violent peacemakers and said: "Violence is not the cure for our broken world. Countering violence with violence leads at best to forced migrations and enormous suffering."

The 79-year old said non-violence "is sometimes taken to mean surrender, lack of involvement and passivity, but this is not the case". "When victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promotors of nonviolent peacemaking," he said.

The pontiff said his message was not just aimed at the faithful but was "a programme and a challenge for political and religious leaders, the heads of international institutions, and business and media executives".

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