Religion: A Summit for Peace in Assisi

World religious leaders pray, not as one, but together

A mark of Pope John Paul II's charismatic style is his ability to illuminate human aspirations with a telling phrase or a symbolic gesture. For several hours last week, an unprecedented event put together under his auspices dramatized one of the greatest of all aspirations. At his invitation, leaders from the religions of the earth gathered under glowering skies in the tranquil medieval Italian town of Assisi and, with quiet dignity, uttered prayers for world peace.

The throng included rabbis wearing yarmulkes and Sikhs in turbans, Muslims praying on thick carpets and a Zoroastrian kindling a fire. In all, the 160...

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