In 1986 the pope of Rome, John Paul II, held a massive interfaith gathering in Assisi, Italy, billed as a “World Day of Prayer for Peace”. It was attended by representatives of many religions of the world. And back then, a quarter of a century ago in the wake of this momentous gathering, I wrote the following in the Bible Based Ministries Newsletter: “On October 27, members of different religions came together at Assisi, birthplace of Roman Catholic ‘saint’ Francis, for a day of prayer. This was at the instigation of the pope. Around the world, three governments and guerillas in 11 lands held a 24-hour truce. 12 religions were represented, and prayed for peace.
“Such is the power of this man over the peoples of the earth, that at his call, top leaders of 12 different religions gathered from around the world, and even governments obeyed him! They came together to pray in direct contradiction of God’s Word, which commands true Christians to be separate from the world, and not to come together with those still in darkness. What a ‘Babylon’ took place here!”
A religious “Babylon” indeed, and one in which no true Christian could take part, for it was an abomination to the Lord. John Paul II declared before the event that the representatives of the different religions would not pray together, but they would offer up their own prayers, in accordance with their own traditions, in the presence of the representatives of the other religions! This, he said, would show their “respect for the prayer of others and for the attitude of others before the Divinity”. He said that “Christians” (i.e. Roman Catholics and those ecumenical “Protestants” present) praying apart, but at the same time as people of other religions were praying, would be a “humble and sincere witness to Christ, Lord of the Universe”. The lies of the serpent! A direct violation of such passages of God’s Word as 2 Cor. 6:14-18, which forbids any kind of yoking together with unbelievers in religious matters, and of Jn. 14:6, in which the Lord Jesus stated emphatically that He alone is the way, truth, and life, and that no man comes to the Father but by Him.
And now, 25 years later, a second Assisi event was held on October 27, 2011. The Vatican invited representatives of various “Christian” denominations (“Christian” in name only!), as well as representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Shinto and many other religions to be present, and also people of no religion. In the end, some 176 representatives gathered at Assisi on October 27.
But before analysing this event, let us go back to the original one in 1986, and take a look at that:
The 1986 Assisi Event
The choice of Assisi 25 years ago was a deliberate one. In the words of the superior of the Franciscan convent in Assisi, the Roman Catholic “saint”, Francis, appeals to both believers and non-believers because Francis “incarnated those high aspects of humanity, simplicity, humility” which enable people to recognise each other as brothers and sisters, and to see all of creation as the work of the same hands that made them. The truth, of course, is very different. Francis was no saint, no Christian, and his doctrine of creation and of brotherhood between creatures was a totally false and unbiblical one. But the Papacy deliberately chose Assisi for the hosting of the event because it would resonate with many around the world.
Consider how that day unfolded. The pope of Rome gave an opening address. This was followed by an ecumenical “church” service (i.e. all those false professing “Christians” together), while members of other religions prayed at the same time in their respective meeting-places. All this was utterly unbiblical: first, that professing “Protestants” would obey the Roman Antichrist, condemned in God’s Word as the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition (2 Thess. 2); second, that they would participate in an ecumenical service, contrary to 2 Cor. 6:14-18 and various other Scriptures; third, that they would attach any value at all to the prayers of representatives of false religions, when the Bible is so clear that the religions of the world are all of satanic origin! The religions represented on that day included Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Baha’is, Shintoists, snake worshippers from Togo, and representatives of various other religious groups! Romans 1 is crystal clear: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (vv.22,23). See, too, Psa. 115:3-9. That people calling themselves “Christians” could support the concept of prayers to creatures, including even snakes, and to hideous idols of wood and stone, is so shocking as to almost defy credulity – and yet it happened! But it got worse. Towards the end of that horrible event, both so-called “Christians” (oh, so plainly false “Christians”!) and representatives of other religions all met together in the Roman Catholic Basilica of St. Francis, where each religion was permitted five minutes to pray in its own way, with intervals of silence between the prayers of each! What a denial of the absolute uniqueness of Christ (Jn. 14:6), of giving worship to the Lord alone (Matt. 4:9,10), and of prayer to the Father only in the Name of the Son only (Jn. 14:13,14; 16:23,24)! What blasphemy! What vile abomination!
Then, immediately afterwards, John Paul II appealed to those who were fighting anywhere in the world to lay down their arms for the duration of the event – and in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and other places, his appeal was actually heeded.
Let us now examine the 2011 Assisi event in the light of the 1986 Assisi event.