The former president of the Jewish state said that religion is the prime trigger of world conflicts.
Former Israeli president Shimon Peres met onThursday with Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss the situation in the Middle East as well as the return of anti-Semitism in Europe, among other issues.
During the meeting Peres proposed Pope Francis to create an international organization capable of uniting creeds and decreasing the use of violence in the name of faith, the Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.
The Vatican news service also said the pope "listened attentively and with interest" to Peres' proposal.
Peres said that religion is the prime trigger for world conflicts nowadays and that "the U.N. has had its time, what we need is an organization of United Religions, the U.N. of religions.
Peres said the United Nations and its peacekeepers “do not have the force or the effectiveness of any one of the Pope’s homilies, which can draw half a million people just in St Peter’s Square alone.”
The pope said he trusts Peres to advance interfaith co-operation and emphasized that terrorism prevents freedom of religion and hurts people of all beliefs.
Peres recalled that Prope Francis already tried a similar initiative last June 8, by inviting Palestinian President Abu Mazen and the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, to pray on the day of prayers for peace in the Middle East.
He added that the Holy Father is a leader respected by most religious people worldwide.