Ban emphasizes ‘power of prayer’ in tackling global challenges

15 September 2009

Faith has a key role in addressing current global challenges, ranging from disarmament to climate change to the economic crisis, and in bringing people together to promote peace and progress, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

“The power of prayer is immeasurable,” Mr. Ban said yesterday evening at a service held at the Church of the Holy Family in New York. “The power of prayer for the United Nations is invaluable.”

Today’s crises have not just a material, but a spiritual impact as well, he stressed, with many becoming discouraged and angry due to their suffering.

The UN is responding by helping countries meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, but the world body “alone cannot heal the wounds that families are suffering from economic hardship,” the Secretary-General said. “Here is where faith can make all the difference.”

Speaking on the eve of the start of the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, he told religious leaders at the church that faith groups also have the ability to shape policies which can also help meet people’s material needs.

Faith can “strengthen our ability to reach the UN’s life-saving goals, for the sake of our planet and all people,” he emphasized.


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