Karen Armstrong’s wish comes true…

A TED Prize wish fulfilled: 

Charter for Compassion launches

Today, we celebrate the unveiling of the Charter for Compassion, a document created to unite people of different religions and moral codes by acknowledging our shared principles of love, understanding and compassion.

The Charter grew out of Karen Armstrong’s 2008 TED Prize wish. Since that time, over 150,000 people from 180 countries have contributed their words, 18 prominent religious leaders have refined these words — and the world is now invited to affirm, celebrate and discuss the final document. Read andaffirm the Charter below:


The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others — even our enemies — is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings, even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.


Karen Armstrong
Karen Armstrong FRSL is a British author and commentator known for her books on comparative religion. A former Roman Catholic religious sister, she went from a conservative to a more liberal and mystical Christian faith.
Source: Wikipedia.
Born: November 14, 1944 (age 68), Worcestershire
Education: University of Oxford, St Anne’s College, Oxford


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