"The Dalai Lama discusses the challenge of religion and violence in the world and the enormous role religion can play to enhance the common good. He says that it is important for every major faith tradition to acknowledge that it has served and has the potential to serve as a cause for division, hatred, and conflict. Instead of pointing our fingers at others, we need to enter into a self-educational process and be vigilant against all forms of chauvinism, bigotry, and violence. People of all faiths need to stand firm against violence and speak out against religious extremists when they hijack religious language and dogma to justify their aberrant acts. Religion serves the cause of violence when it is adopted as 'an identity label that, instead of being a spiritual path to one's humanity, becomes a marker by which one defines oneself as opposed to others.' Using Buddhist terminology, he says that when that happens, religion can become a source of attachment and aversion, causing disharmony, harm, and division.

"Yet, the Dalai Lama continues to believe that religion can be a tremendous force for good. For out of the common ground of compassion, religious institutions and communities of committed individuals can come together and act positively for the common good. He even cites the words of St. Paul: '. . . faith can move mountains.' The power of religion, for him, lies in 'its special appeal to the whole range of human psyche, including most importantly our emotions, against the backdrop of a vision of ultimate truth, with its provision of meaning and purpose.' The time has come, he says, to channel this valuable resource to address many problems humanity faces today, such as the protection of the environment, the inequities of poverty, and the ethical dilemmas brought by scientific knowledge and technology. We would be wise to heed the Dalai Lama's call."