During a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican last week, former Israeli President Shimon Peres urged the Catholic pontiff to help build a United Nations-like organization for different faiths dubbed the “Organization of United Religions.” Peres also referred to his proposed entity for “interfaith dialogue” as a “UN of religions.” While the pope was reportedly open to the idea, his spokesman suggested that no commitment was made to necessarily pursue it. Numerous prophecy watchers and analysts, meanwhile, highlighted news of the proposal as an important development with potentially deep prophetic implications.
According to Peres, who retired recently after a long career in politics that included a leadership role with the radical Socialist International, the reason for creating a global outfit for religions is that so many conflicts are supposedly justified by proponents who cite their alleged faith. “In the past, most of the wars in the world were motivated by the idea of nationhood,” the former Israeli president and two-term prime minister, a committed globalist, was quoted as saying in the Jerusalem Post. “But today, wars are incited using religion as an excuse.”
The reference to “religious” wars appears to have been primarily aimed at Islamic extremists, many of whom are openly dedicated to the destruction of Zionism and Israel as a nation-state. “The UN has run its course,” Peres told the Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana in an interview before the meeting with Pope Francis in Rome. “What we need is an Organization of United Religions, a UN of religions, as the best way to combat terrorists who kill in the name of faith, because the majority of people are not like them, they practice their religion without killing anyone, without this thought ever crossing their minds.”
Under Peres’ vision, the religious version of the UN, presumably made up of mortal men from various faith backgrounds, would even purport to speak for God Almighty. “What we need is an unquestionable moral authority who says out loud, ‘No, God does not want this and does not allow it,’” the ex-Israeli president said. Unsurprisingly, the notion of an “unquestionable moral authority” to battle allegedly “religious” violence raised eyebrows and made headlines worldwide.
While few details about the proposed scheme have been released publicly, Peres’ interview with Famiglia Cristiana did offer some clues about what the institution might look like. “I think there should also be a United Religions Charter, just like the UN Charter,” he explained. “The new Charter would state on behalf of all faiths that slitting people’s throats or carrying out mass slaughters, as we have seen in the past weeks, has nothing to do with religion. This was my proposal to the Pope.”
Peres also suggested that Francis, who has alienated some conservatives with his controversial views on various topics but is broadly respected around the world, should lead the outfit. “When I look around me I notice one thing: Perhaps for the first time in history the Holy Father is a leader who has the respect of many people as well as the most diverse religions and their representatives,” Peres, 91, continued in the interview. “Indeed, he may actually be the only leader they really respect. Hence the idea I proposed to Francis.” Peres also said the UN and its self-styled “peacekeeping” troops “do not have the force or the effectiveness of any one of the pope's homilies.”
However, critics of the idea have pointed to more than a few problems and obstacles. How could an “authority” composed of people with clearly and inherently incompatible beliefs be “unquestionable”? Do all religions worship the same “god” or “gods”? Why would extreme fundamentalist Muslims who believe Allah, Mohammed, and the Koran demand violent jihad take cues from an organization that rejects that notion? Would the religions involved in the scheme need to modify their existing doctrines to join? Would religions that refuse to join be considered illegitimate, or worse? The questions are literally endless, and so far, few answers have been provided.
Either way, the pope reportedly expressed some interest in the idea, but did not necessarily commit, according to Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, who publicly confirmed that Peres and the pope had indeed discussed the creation of UN-style body for religions. “The pope listened, showing his interest, attention, and encouragement,” Lombardi was quoted as saying about the meeting, adding that Francis considered Peres to be a “man of peace.” Peres was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, alongside Soviet-backed terrorist leader Yasser Arafat, for his role in the controversial Oslo Accords.
While expressing interest in the proposal, the pope reportedly cited two existing pontifical councils, one for Interreligious Dialogue and the other for Justice and Peace, as potentially “suitable” agencies for promoting “interfaith peace” plans. Fr. Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, also noted that the two Catholic cardinals charged with such matters would “consider this proposal carefully.”
In his role as pope, Francis has led significant — and controversial — efforts to reach out to Muslims, Protestants, and leaders of other faiths. However, the bid has sparked controversy among many Christians. Especially noteworthy has been Francis’ argument that Muslims worship the same God as Christians, even though Islam specifically denies that Jesus Christ is Lord. Francis has made efforts to court atheists and agnostics, too.
Right after his discussions with the former Israeli leader, the pope met with Prince El-Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, who founded and sponsors the “Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies” focused on peace and human rights. “He spoke to the pope about the work done to combat violence and in favor of human dignity, of brotherhood, and of assistance to the poor in a globalized world,” Lombardi said about the 30-minute meeting. “This is done by drawing on the common values religions hold.... Prince Hassan gave the Pope a collection of texts from various denominations, edited by the interreligious center he founded.”
Some analysts noted that the longtime globalist goal pushed by influential establishment figures such as Lucis Trust (formerly known as Lucifer Publishing) founder Alice Bailey — the emergence of a single global religion without “the heresy" of "separateness” — appears to be coming into view. “Just a few short decades ago, a one world religion would have been absolutely unthinkable,” wrote Michael Snyder, who runs the popular online analysis site The Truth. “But now the pieces are starting to come together, and it will be very interesting to see what happens next.”
Of course, more than a few Christians interested in prophecy and eschatology pounced on the developments as further evidence that the End Times prophesized about in the Bible, featuring a single false religion to deceive much of humanity, was approaching quickly. While there are countless interpretations of scripture and prophecy, there is broad agreement among Christians that before the eventual return of Jesus Christ, the world will see the emergence of a global political and religious system run, ultimately, by the prince of darkness. Still, many Christians say that could be centuries or even millennia down the road.
Whether Peres’ proposed “UN of religions” is in fact related in any way to biblical prophecy remains unclear, though more than a few analysts have suggested it was. However, there is already a dizzying array of global religious and pseudo-religious efforts aimed at bringing the world’s religions together. In a 2002 article entitled "The New World Religion," for example, Senior Editor William F. Jasper of The New American magazine highlighted UN and establishment efforts to turn the Rockefeller-backed UN “Earth Charter” into the foundation for a sort of global “religion.” Former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev put it bluntly: “My hope is that this charter will be a kind of Ten Commandments, a ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ that provides a guide for human behavior toward the environment in the next century and beyond.”
While there are plenty of excellent and well-intentioned efforts at promoting interfaith dialogue and peace, keeping a watchful eye out for globalist scheming is always a good policy. Peres’ plan may never even go anywhere, but it is well worth watching.
Photo of Pope Francis meeting with former Israeli President Shimon Peres, Sept. 4, 2014: AP Images