Is spirituality the key to building a better world? IVY Magazine sat down with Dr. William Vendley, the Secretary General of the Religions for Peace International, to hear his answer to this all-important question. Religions for Peace is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious organization, working to advance common action for peace by promoting multi-religious consensus and concrete actions to address poverty, stop war, and protect the earth.

Religions help develop world peace

William assumed leadership of Religions for Peace in 1994 and has pioneered the activities and projects of the organization’s 92 national and 5 regional councils. In the bitter aftermath of the civil war in Bosnia, for instance, William facilitated the establishment of the Inter-religious Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which aided Bosnia religious leaders in their efforts to heal their society and re-build a single, multi-ethnic Bosnia. William also co-founded the Hope for African Children Initiative to address the needs of African children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Leveraging the diverse networks of local religious congregations, the Initiative resulted in an initial $50M being raised to help equip African communities with needed services to vulnerable children.

“Today, the revolution is this: that religions around the world are becoming bilingual. You don’t have to become a Buddhist to hear what the Buddhists care about,” William explains. “Today, religious narratives are being understood in terms of their profound potential to advance the common good.”

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