“Pope Francis joined 400 religious leaders in an interfaith prayer service for peace at Assisi on September 20, marking the 30th anniversary of the historic event organized by St. John Paul II” (Catholic Culture, September 20, 2016). At the event, which “drew together Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and other religious leaders,” the pope commented, “We have come to Assisi as pilgrims in search of peace… We thirst for peace; we desire to witness to peace… [to achieve peace we must] free ourselves from the heavy burdens of fundamentalism and hate” (ibid.). “Patriarch Bartholomew [also] placed a heavy emphasis on religious freedom and on respect for nature in his remarks” (ibid.).
But, will removing “fundamentalism and hate,” and increasing “religious freedom” and “respect for nature” bring real peace? Bible prophecies indicate that as we approach the end of this age, human beings “will seek peace, but there shall be none” (Ezekiel 7:25; cf. Jeremiah 6:14). Describing the leaders of this world, the prophet Isaiah states, “The way of peace they have not known” (Isaiah 59:8). Pilgrimages, prayers, lighting candles and respect for nature have not and will not bring peace to mankind. The Bible reveals that peace comes from following the laws of God (Psalm 119:165) and that Jesus Christ is going to return to this earth as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7) to show mankind the way to peace and put an end to war forever (Isaiah 2:2-4). Seekers of peace need to read the Book that reveals the way to lasting peace. For more on this vital topic, see “Peace When There Is No Peace.”