Rapid Response Team

The purpose of the Interfaith Rapid Response Team is to make a public statement representing the interfaith community in condemning a tragic incident at a local, national or international level.

The statement should express compassion and healing for all who have been harmed by the tragic incident as well as insight into the highest principles of the major world religions to discourage prejudicial stereotyping of faith groups.


Anytime a tragic incident occurs at a local, national or international level, where the blame is ascribed to the incident based on religious stereotyping, a statement is needed.


Response from Religions for Peace to Nigeria kidnapping:

14 May 2014

Dear Esteemed Colleague:

The kidnapping of over 200 school girls in Chibok, north-eastern Nigeria on 14 April 2014 by the terrorist group Boko Haram is morally reprehensible.

This craven and cowardly act deeply offends the religious sensibilities of the overwhelming majority of sincere believers around the world.

Islamic leadership has condemned this shameless act, which is also a grave abuse of the religion that Muslims hold most dear.

You would, I felt, appreciate receiving a couple of thoughtful and constructive statements on the kidnapping written by two of your eminent Religions for Peace Co-Moderators: Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, and H.E John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria. You will find them here.

We know, from over 43 years of experience, that our work is based on shared values as well as a principled respect for our religious differences.  We have agreed by consensus that it is the obligation of all believers to respect and honor one another and to promote each other’s well being, including very notably the well being of women and girls. This shameful kidnapping makes clear that our mission is as important as ever.

As we decry this heinous kidnapping and call for the release of the school girls, we also extend our prayers and principled solidarity to the girls and their families.

In partnership,

Dr. William F. Vindley

Secretary General

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