World peace was the topic of conversation when two religious leaders from different faiths came together to host a seminar.
The Rt Revd Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow and Maulana Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Imam of London Mosque were guest speakers at the recent event held at Hartlepool’s Nasir Mosque.
The seminar was organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and focused on bringing religious leaders and politics to the table to take questions from the audience which was made up of members of the local community.
The pair were joined by the Hartlepool MP Ian Wright and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland Barry Coppinger.
The theme of the event was World Peace and what it might take to realise it, as well as how words matter.
Mr Wright said word are important during a time of instability.
The journey of peace begins from each individual.Imam Maulana Ataul Mujeeb Rashed
He said: “We are in a time of great instability, change and the unknown, a time where words are important.
“We must take care of how we talk to each other to avoid the creation of hate - there has been many examples this year alone.
“My colleague Jo Cox MP who was brutally murdered earlier this year is an example.”
Bishop Mark said: “In a world that is so sad in so many ways, it is good that all men, women and children of peace should celebrate our common dream and I hope that my being here this afternoon is in a very small way just that; it is about our celebrating together our common dream for world peace.
“As a Christian when I talk about peace, I do not simply mean an end to fighting and wars, wonderful as that may be but I think that when I talk about peace, I mean the world becoming the sort of place which Jesus Christ came to bring into the world.
“A world where all men and women and children can live together in peace and harmony, where their basic needs are met and where nobody is left out.
“That, I hope and believe, is something of our common dream.
“We all know from our own human experience that peace is contagious.
“We all know, for example, that if we are somewhere and somebody smiles at us or is kind to us or says something good to us then we feel better and we are far more likely to be kinder and more loving to the people we meet, and equally, of course, it works the other way round: if somebody is cross or unkind to us, we will feel hurt and are much more likely to go off and be unkind or uncaring to someone else.
“So peace is contagious and world peace begins with me.
Imam Maulana Ataul Mujeeb Rashed said: “The journey of peace begins from each individual - trying to find their own peace - to bless your own-self with the feeling of peace this can lead to world peace - because it spreads”