Readers will all be aware that 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Since that time we have not only witnessed the Second World War and the nightmare of nightmares that was the Holocaust, but also hostilities have taken place in countless areas throughout the world, currently portrayed by the bloody conflict taking place in Iraq and Syria.
Whilst all of this has taken place a worldwide plea for peace has resonated from governments and numerous religious bodies such as those represented on the Eastbourne Faith Forum. It is, however, individuals in the shape of fanatical insurgents who are responsible for causing a stench of fear in many regions whereby peace-loving citizens can no longer enjoy either a peaceful life or peace of mind. Living is controlled by the terror of torture, the sword and the whip.
During these 100 years we have come a long way to achieving an understanding between peoples of different races and religions. It is now perfectly normal to find ourselves living within a multi-cultural society where each and every one of us has a wonderful opportunity of learning so much about the traditions and beliefs others. This is the desire of most of us.
There is however another danger which we should guard against at all times and here I refer to xenophobia. It is only when we see others as being different from ourselves that problems really arise. A peaceful life is the earnest craving of the majority regardless of their colour or creed who equally detest the inhuman acts of minorities. A continued personal fear of others means just one thing, namely, the minority has won the day and under no circumstances must this be allowed to happen.
Let us hope that 2015 will enable us to take major steps towards attaining true peace.