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May all beings be happy and secure
Let none deceive another,
nor despise any person whatsoever in any place.
Let them not wish any harm to another
out of anger or ill will
Just as a mother would protect her only child
at the risk of her own life,
even so, let them cultivate a boundless heart
towards all beings.
From Sutta-Nipāta, I:8

In the name of God -- the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful. Praise belongs to God, the Lord and Sustainer of all worlds, the Loving Nurturer, the All-Compassionate, the Possessor of the Day of Judgment. You alone we serve, and You we beseech: guide us along the path of uprightness, the path of those whom You bless, not the way of those who are overshadowed by anger, nor the path of those who wander without direction.
Sura 1, Fatiha, Quran


Saddened by the suffering of Rohingiya people, which has been added to the suffering of so many other human being during the last few weeks, we, Buddhist and Muslim Leaders, associated with the Elijah Interfaith Institute, as well as leaders of other faith traditions, invoke the timeless aspiration of humankind for compassion and love, and yearning for guidance, succor, and help from supra-human realms so powerfully captured in the two prayers mentioned above—one from Buddhist sources and the second from the opening chapter of the Quran. We wish to recall this common teaching and high moral and spiritual yearning of the human soul at this point in time, especially in view of the suffering of the Rohingiya Muslims who are being persecuted and are suffering due to policies of a Buddhist majority state. We ask all those who receive this message to join us in solidarity with the suffering humanity and recommend the following prayer/aspiration to religious communities:

Goodness, love and compassion are basic virtues and the source of our happiness. May our communities live these virtues, and overcome the narrowness of self-interest, ego and cruelty of heart that allow one human being to harm another;

May our political leaders, political systems and governing powers not serve as excuses for losing sight of the common virtues of compassion and love that should be the ultimate yardstick by which we seek to measure all our actions in your eyes;

May whatever political and group-identity needs that may need to be upheld never compromise the virtues of compassion, love and respect for the other;

May we always recall the value of every human person, as a teaching common to all religions, in their various ways, and may we seek to always act in ways that uphold the full dignity and value of the human person;

May all benefit from education, freedom of action and freedom of mobility;

May all have a sense of home, belonging and the dignity of self-group affirmation;

May our teachers and leaders be guided by the wisdom of showing the straight path for their community and upholding its identity while respecting the value and dignity of all human beings;

May the hatred in the hearts of Buddhists and Muslims give way to compassion and understanding. May all parties involved in struggle in Myanmar choose the path of dialogue, deep listening and sharing, over violence and hatred. May truth prevail and guide the way to resolution of the plight of the Rohingya people.

May our religious communities grow in understanding and friendship and not in enmity towards one another. Let not the plight of the Rohingiyas spill over into broader hatred for Buddhists by Muslims and may it not generate further negativity;

May all those who help fuel conflict by means such as sales of arms and other financially motivated support, recognize the suffering to which they contribute and turn away from further support to acts of hatred and violence;

May all Muslim and Rakhine Buddhist be liberated from this conflict, from suffering and from sorrow;

May we all be instruments of compassion in our lives;

May our hearts remain open to the plight of the Rohingiyas, as well as of all refugees and may your wisdom and guidance shine through our open hearts for the wellbeing of humanity and all living beings.


Members of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders

Muslim Leaders
Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdallah, USA
Sayyed Jawad al-Khoei, England
Dr. Yihya Mossa Basha, USA
Grand Mufti Dr. Mustafa Ceric, Bosnia
Imam Plemon El Amin, USA
Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi (Maulana), India
Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal, USA
Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, USA
Dr. Wahidudin Khan, India
Dr. Adamou Ndam Njoya, Cameroon
Imam Dr. Abduljalil Sajid, UK
Dr. Ahmed Taoufiq, Morocco
Dr. Muhammad Suheyl Umar, Pakistan

Buddhist leaders
H.H. the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, India
Jan Chozen Bays, USA
Ven. Norman Fischer, USA
Dharma Master Hsin-Tao, Taiwan
Ven. Bhikkhuni Kusuma, Sri Lanka
Ven. Prof. Jinwol Sunim, Korea
Ven. Sayadaw Ashin Nyanissara, Myanmar
Ven. Khandro Rinpoche, India
Ven. Phradharmakosajarn, Thailand
Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena, India
Ven. Karma Lekshe Tsomo, USA

Christian Leaders
Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, Russia
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Turkey
Prior Isabelle Flye-Saintmarie, Israel
The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Former Presiding Bishop, USA
Katharine Henderson, USA
Dimitra Koukoura, Greece
Bishop Lennart Koskinen, Sweden
His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias, USA
The Very Reverend June Osborne, England
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Austria
Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, India
Abbot Primate Notker Wolf OSB, Italy
Archbishop Boutrous Mouallem, Israel

Jewish Leaders
Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, Israel
Rabbi David Bigman, Israel
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Israel
Rabbi Menachem HaCohen, Romania
Rabbi Arthur Green, USA
Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, Russia
Prof. Rabbi Richard Marker, USA
Rabbi Michael Melchior, Israel
Rabbi David Rosen, Israel
Gilla Rosen, Israel
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, England
Chief Rabbi Shmuel Rene Sirat, France
Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, The Netherlands
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, UK

Leaders of Religions of India
Swami Agnivesh, India
Swami Amarananda, Switzerland
Sudhamani Mata Amritananda Mayi (Amma), India
Swami Atmapriyananda, India
Jagadguru Karmayogi Charukeerty Bhattarak Swamiji, India
His Holiness H.H Chandra Swami, India
H.H. Pujya Swami Chidananda Saraswati, India
Swami Rameshwarananda Giri, Spain
Acharya Shri Shrivatsa Goswami, India
Karshni Swami Sri Gurusharananand, India
Sister Jayanti, UK
H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, India
Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, England
H.H. Sri Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji, India

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