In the name of god, yahweh and allah

In the name of god, yahweh and allah

The name of God must not be misused for political purposes – this is what the Berlin bishop Markus Droge demanded in Abu Dhabi. But people often make their religion big to intimidate others, to despise, says Droge.

At an interfaith meeting in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Berlin Bishop Markus Droge called for joint action against religious abuse. The misuse of God’s name for political purposes, for legitimizing power and violence, is one of the great challenges worldwide, Droge said Sunday at the two-day Global Conference of Human Fraternity, also attended by Pope Francis.

People magnified their own religion in order to intimidate others, to despise them, to insult them as infidels, and thus to sow distrust and hatred. "We should all speak out clearly and unequivocally against the abuse of God, in our own and other people’s religion," said the bishop, representing the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) with 21.5 million Protestants.

Man needs "globalization of mercy

Droge cited as further challenges the wide gap between rich and poor, which violates the dignity of the poor and endangers peace worldwide, and the threat to the environment, which endangers the foundations of life and increases injustices in the distribution of life opportunities. All three challenges are intensified by digitalization, which is accelerating all processes "so fast that our ethics are lagging behind developments in many areas," the bishop said.

At a time when the economy, information and financial flows are globalized without borders, humanity therefore needs "a globalization of mercy" that can be fed from different religious and philosophical sources, said Droge. "The fact that we are gathered here in Abu Dhabi as believers of different religions is a great opportunity," he added.

The Pope and Islam

The Global Conference of Human Fraternity, which runs until Monday, will be attended by 700 religious representatives of different faiths from around the world, according to organizers. Invited by the Muslim Council of Elders. Emirates-based scholars’ association advocates tolerant Islam.

Pope Francis’ participation is the first visit by a pontiff to the Arabian Peninsula. In a video message to residents of the United Arab Emirates, the pope praised the Gulf monarchies as a "model of coexistence and human brotherhood" and a bridge between cultures. About a million Catholics live in the Emirates. Most are guest workers from the Philippines and India, among other countries.

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