Former British prime minister Tony Blair, calling faith a possible “civilizing force in globalization,” has pledged to dedicate the rest of his life to uniting the world’s religions as his “faith foundation” launched in New York on Friday.
Time magazine reports that the Tony Blair Faith Foundation will attempt to foster cooperation among religions to address global issues, such as those listed in the United Nations’ eight Millennium Development Goals. The goals include eradicating extreme poverty and securing environmental sustainability.
Combating the spread of malaria will be among foundation’s first priorities.
“If you got churches and mosques and those of the Jewish faith working together to provide the bed nets that are necessary to eliminate malaria, what a fantastic thing that would be,” Blair said.
"That would show faith in action, it would show the importance of cooperation between faiths, and it would show what faith can do for progress."
Blair, who recently converted to Catholicism, said it was possible to achieve a “greater understanding” between religious faiths to support common action on global problems.
Speaking of the place of his faith during his time as prime minister, Blair told Time magazine “You don't put a hotline up to God and get the answers” and “What faith can do is not tell you what is right but give you the strength to do it.”
At present Blair is an envoy to the Middle East for the United Nations, the U.S., the E.U., and Russia. He also consults for the insurer Zurich and the bank JP Morgan, and has recently sold his memoirs for millions of dollars.