VATICAN CITY – Retired Israeli President Shimon Peres has proposed a new global peace initiative to Pope Francis: A "United Nations of Religions," given that most wars today have religious, not nationalistic, undercurrents.
The Vatican said Peres pitched the initiative during a 45-minute audience Thursday in the Apostolic Palace. The two men last met when Francis invited the then-Israeli president and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to pray for peace together in the Vatican gardens on June 8.
A few weeks later, war broke out in the Gaza Strip.
Peres told the Catholic publication Famiglia Cristiana that the U.N. is ill-suited to handle today's conflicts and that a "'U.N. of Religions' is the best way to fight terrorists who kill in the name of God."
Francis promised the Vatican's attention to the proposal.