The UN declared 26th of June the United Nations Day in Support of Victims of Torture. To honor these victims and their families, International Bridges to Justice brought together members of every faith at the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Center in Geneva, Switzerland to light a candle and say a prayer for the end of torture in our lifetime.
Religious leaders, country representatives, and members of the Geneva community came together to stand in solidarity with International Bridges to Justice and the efforts of our JusticeMakers and Fellows around the world working to enact justice for all accused.
“We also pray for a change of heart of the perpetrators of torture, because we want what is good, what is true, and what is just.”
-Rev. Richard Gyhra
“We give thanks to you, for those who defend human rights and the various people who work with determination and faithfulness for the care of all victims of violence. Let us never make peace with despair.”
-Reverend John Beach
“As numerous are the sentient beings, we make the vow to save them all.”
-Vuillemin Vincent Keisen
“I ask us to prayer for all the torturers around the world. May their shuttered hearts be blown open by the power of love. May they rediscover their humanity, so they can begin the long journey to undo their harm and to sow the seeds of love.”
-Dr. Rama Mani
“Our leaders today must learn that abusing weak and helpless prisoners compromises our ideals and diminishes rather than enhances our power”
-Rav Dr. Izhak Dayan
Faramarz Falahi quoted Kitab-i-Aqdas who spoke of the human condition in regards to the Baha’i faith:
«l’importance de la valeur des êtres humains, de l’importance de la coexistence paçifique , de la coopération et du soutien mutuel, sans discrimination, haine, hostilité et préjugés religieuses aveugles »
“the importance of the value of human beings, the importance of peaceful coexistence, cooperation and mutual support, without discrimination, hatred, hostility and blind religious prejudice”
Sayed Salih Al-Hakim, Director of the Dialogue Center “Al-Hikma,” in Najaf, Iraq, offered a prayer for a commitment to peace from every faith.
“Je prie et je souhaite le monde de vient une famille, et comme une famille, et pour ça on a tous la responsabilité de faire ce qu’on peut.”
“I pray and I hope the world becomes a family; we all have the responsibility of doing what we can for our family.”
“We are at a time in history where standing on the side of righteousness says we will stand with everyone. We will stand because no one should be tortured.”
“We bring this energy of love and surround them with this light. This brings peace and justice and the qualities of love into those places where there appears to be separation, where there appears to be injustice.”
-Rev. Beth Linguri