ADRA President: “Faith communities can change the dialogue from hate and ignorance to peace, love and acceptance.

May 16, 2019  |  Silver Spring, Maryland, United States  | 

ADRA President: “Faith communities can change the dialogue from hate and ignorance to peace, love and acceptance.

During a recent summit held in Geneva, Switzerland, Jonathan Duffy, president for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) joined hundreds of interfaith world leaders to discuss fostering inclusivity and countering hate speech to enhance the protection of religious minorities, refugees, and migrants. 

Duffy served on a panel of esteemed lawyers and executive directors, organized by the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty. He shared what the global trends in migration are and highlighted what drives migration.  

In his opening statement, Duffy highlighted four “C’s” that drive migration: concentration, corruption, conflict, and climate change. 

“The concentration I speak of is a concentration of jobs, wealth, and knowledge, both individually and geographically,” Duffy says. “Knowledge and economy with its associated emphasis with technology is concentrating wealth and power, and with it, jobs. This is leading toward a migration to the cities.” 

Duffy highlighted the second “C”, which was corruption. “It’s arguably the biggest drag on economic development,” he adds. He quoted from former World Bank president, Jim Young Kim, who likened corruption to that of a dollar put into the pocket of a corrupt official or business person that is a dollar stolen from those who need it most.  

Conflict was another “C” that Duffy addressed was a driving factor of migration. He spoke about ongoing war-torn countries like Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Myanmar and Afghanistan, and envisioned a world where conflicts like in those countries were reduced. 

“We can hope and pray that all these conflicts are resolved and at least managed,” says Duffy. “But who would be optimistic to imagine that would happen? Indeed, as the world is turning increasingly to authoritarian leaders, we rely on existential threats to justify their oppression; conflicts appear more likely than not.” 


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