Muslim and Christian religious leaders who met recently in Amman, Jordan have jointly affirmed that the fundamental institutions for the education of children and youth remain the family and the school.
Participants at the two-day meeting proposed a "Cultural Decalogue" for those involved in education worldwide to promote the transmission of religious and moral values to the young generations, the Vatican said in a May 15 statment.
The colloqium was held under the joint patronage of Jordanian Prince El Hassan bin Talal, founder and president of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies, and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
The theme of the May 13-14 gathering was "Meeting Current Challenges through Education."
It came shortly before of the first visit of Pope Francis to the Holy Land and the Middle East, at the end of May.
Participants agreed on the importance of proper religious education, in particular for the transmission of religious and moral values.
They also denounced the disregard of international provisions seeking the effective respect of fundamental human rights, in particular religious freedom.
They noted that urgent challenges include the peaceful resolution of current conflicts; the eradication of poverty and promoting life's spiritual and moral dimensions.
Participants united in "the conviction that religion is not the cause of conflicts, but rather inhumanity and ignorance. Consequently integral education is essential.
"Many recalled that religions, properly understood and practised, are not causes of division and conflicts but rather a necessary factor for reconciliation and peace."
The Cultural Decalogue reminds the youth to never shun intellectual curiosity and to possess intellectual courage instead of intellectual cowardice.
The young should have intellectual empathy instead of a closed mindedness and keep their intellectual autonomy.
The youth must trust reason but also observe intellectual integrity seeking to be fair-minded and not intellectually unfair.
They urge perseverance for youth when facing surrounding superficiality. And as society is diverse, the youth must consider pluralism as richness and not a threat.
The participants ended with a strong condemnation of all violence, and the kidnapping of hundreds od Nigerian school girls, Vatican Radio reported.
They called for the immediate release of the kidnapped girls.