The Friends Across Faiths Initiative

Just prior to the COVID pandemic, the world’s foremost faith leaders came together under the banner of the Elijah Interfaith Institute for a historic call for friendship across the faiths.

Participants included Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and many other premier leaders.

“Make Friends.” Never had such a simple, yet powerfully unifying message been heard from so many global leaders on the same platform. Perhaps never has the need been so great.

Building on the call to friendship, Elijah will be launching the “Declaration of Friendship”, a vision, a commitment and a program for religious leaders worldwide to practice friendship, share wisdom and advance a vision of harmony and spiritual growth in their communities, across religious divides. Nearly 60 of the world’s premier leaders, including Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, leaders who have taken part in the Global Message of Friendship and members of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders will affirm the principles of the “Declaration of Friendship” and offer teachings drawn from their traditions to support this call.

The Global House of Friendship and Hope builds on the existing foundations of convenings of religious leaders in Assisi and on the inspiration of St. Francis as a figure of encounter. It will bring Elijah’s friendship initiative and the history of Assisi as a meeting place to the awareness of all visitors, through immersion in the accumulated history, records and testimonies of friendship of religious leaders and issue an invitation to follow their example.