Gloria Estefan says Christ’s teachings are key to peace

Vatican City, Apr 23, 2013 / 04:01 pm (CNA).- Visiting the Vatican to participate in the recent TEDx conference on religious freedom, Cuban singer Gloria Estefan said that the teachings of Jesus Christ are central to ensuring peace in the world.

In an interview with CNA, Estefan said she believes it is important that “the basic teachings of Jesus Christ” be passed on to young people.

“It’s about treating other human beings like you want to be treated, and if we did that, there would be no conflicts or difficulties in life,” she said.

The singer arrived in Rome with her husband Emilio Estefan. During the conference, she performed a song and shared her experience with the hundreds of attendees who arrived from all parts of the world.

“Each religion has love as its foundation,” said Estefan, who was born in Cuba and grew up in Miami.

“We have differences that are more cultural, although religious as well, but I think that it is important that we … try to understand each other, and stop trying simply to change each other’s faith.”

“I think we need to be in communion with others, and I believe a lot in the power of prayer,” the singer stressed.

“I have tried to live that truth even with my music, because my music is like my catharsis, my support, which has helped me get through very difficult times, and having the blessing of my music being heard in other places is a responsibility and a privilege that I take very seriously.”

Estefan said that faith has been a pillar in her life. She recalled the bus accident in 1990 that left her unable to walk and unsure if she would ever sing again. Thanks to the prayers of her fans, she said that she underwent a miraculous recovery.

“When I was in that huge accident I received a lot of prayers from around the world,” she explained. “I believe in God and I will never be an atheist. The world is too beautiful to think that God does not exist.”

After the accident, Estefan composed the song, “Coming Out of the Dark,” a worldwide hit dedicated to God, in which she wanted to “thank all those who sent me their prayers and helped me recover.”

“That song has a very religious meaning for me,” she said. “It signifies the power of prayer and that we all have to help each other.”

Observing that people from all over the world and of different faiths prayed for her, Estefan said she believes that religious freedom “means achieving the goals that all religions share, which are: respect for the human being, respect for women, respect for the family, the values that elevate us and that bring us spiritually to choose the right things.”

The conference was also attended by the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory, and Alicia Vacas, a Combonian sister who works for peace and unity in Jerusalem.

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