Global Campaign "Faith Over Fear" Announced by Religions for Peace and UNICEF

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Religions for Peace & UNICEF Announce "Faith Over Fear" Campaign Urging Faith Leaders and Communities to Publicly Commit to Welcome and Help Refugees - Campaign works across denominational and geographic borders to overcome fear, stereotypes and prejudice to lead with faith

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"There are no walls high enough to protect us from the suffering of refugees. Each believer, each mosque, synagogue, church and temple can make a vital difference." Dr Willian Vendley

In response to the unprecedented global refugee crisis, Religions for Peace, the world's largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace, and UNICEF have announced the launch of a worldwide "Faith Over Fear" campaign ( This new campaign calls on religious people and leaders of all denominations to overcome fear, misunderstandings and stereotypes to publicly commit to welcoming and supporting refugees.

"Faith Over Fear" is being launched by Religions for Peace and UNICEF along with a global coalition of religious leaders and faith communities around the world, including: Dr. William Vendley, Secretary General Religions for Peace International; H.E. Metropolitan Emmanuel, Vice President, Conference of European Churches; Ayatollah Seyed Mustafa Mohaghegh Ahmadabadi Damad, Dean of the Department of Islamic Studies at the Academy of Sciences of Iran; Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Co-Founder of Zaytuna College; Rev. Kosho Niwano, President-Designate of Rissho Kosei-Kai; H.E John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria; Prof. Dr. Anantanand Rambachan, Professor at St. Olaf College; H.E. Dr. Mohammed Sammak, Secretary General of the Christian-Muslim Committee for Dialogue; Dr. Anthony Annett, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Advisor for Religions for Peace International; and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

"Diverse religious communities share the conviction that caring for refugees is an urgent religious obligation," Dr. William Vendley of Religions for Peace said. "There are no walls high enough to protect us from the suffering of refugees. Each believer, each mosque, synagogue, church and temple can make a vital difference."

The "Faith Over Fear" campaign features a series of short documentary films and portraits that highlight families of faith from around the world who have opened their hearts, homes and communities to refugees. With stories from families and congregations in Bonn, Germany, Rome, Italy, New Haven, Connecticut, New York, New York and elsewhere, the short documentaries and portraits offer an inspiring, honest look at how faith communities across the world have overcome fear to embrace refugees of different faiths.

"Faith Over Fear" officially launched on Friday, May 26 at the Vatican during the "Ethics in Action" conference, a gathering of religious and other leaders developing a shared ethics for responding to the refugee and migrant crisis. "Faith Over Fear" will advance the shared ethical concerns of the conference for refugees, and will continue through World Refugee Day on June 20, 2017.

The films and portrait series will begin to roll out during launch on the campaign's website ( and on Religions for Peace's Facebook and Twitter pages.

"Faith Over Fear" will partner with faith communities and resettlement agencies, such as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), Congregation Mishkan Israel, Community of Sant'Egidio, Beit Simchat Torah Congregation and others to foster deeper leadership and solidarity to inspire new interfaith community cooperation across the world.

The global refugee crisis has displaced 65.3 million people - including 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are children. There are over 5 billion people who identify themselves as members of religious communities and Religions for Peace uses these existing structures to advance common action for peace.

About Religions for Peace
Since 1970, Religions for Peace is committed to leading efforts to advance effective multi-religious cooperation for peace on global, regional, national, and local levels while ensuring that the religious communities organized on these same levels assume and exercise appropriate leadership and ownership of these efforts. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts
Jes Siart: jes(at)gzandassociates(dot)com | +1-603-289-8707
Milana Edwards: milana(at)gzandassociates(dot)com | +1-718-669-0769

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