Message by Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, Secretary General, GNRC, on the Occasion of Interfaith Prayer for a Peaceful World for Children
Today, there are at least 114 armed conflicts and wars around the world.
Middle East and North Africa is by far the most affected region, with more than 45 armed conflicts. Africa is afflicted by more than 35 armed conflicts. More than 19 armed conflicts are ongoing in Asia, seven in Europe, and six in Latin America. Nearly 200 million children live in these conflict zones. They live in constant fear, experiencing grave violations of their rights, with serious impacts on their well-being – short and long-term. More than 43.3 million children have been displaced. This is a record high, since the Second World War. Another 150 million children are living in multidimensional poverty as a result of these wars and other calamities. Children have nothing to do with these wars. Yet, they suffer the most from these wars.
THEY, children, ARE used. THEY ARE conscripted. THEY ARE radicalized. THEY ARE forced to participate in these wars. THEY are targeted for harm.
During such crises, it is understandable to feel helpless. It is easy to be depressed. To give up. Children become exceptionally vulnerable in such calamitous situations. But faith communities around the world, gathering with children, can bring back hope. Working for and with children, it is possible to bring back hope that the world so much needs at this hour. Today. On behalf of Arigatou International, the GNRC Network, friends, and partners, I express my gratitude to you all, for the prayers you have offered in your places of worship. I thank you for the actions you all have taken and continue to do in different parts of the world, for the sake of the children affected by wars and conflicts.
Today, we come together in this Interfaith Prayer, together with children, to pray and call for a peaceful world for all children. Today, more than ever before, the human family—our human family, needs stronger, more sincere, and greater solidarity. Together, in prayer, and action, and through interfaith cooperation, we will build a better and peaceful world for children.
Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, Secretary General, GNRC