LINDAU, Germany (RNS) — William Vendley, the outgoing head of Religions for Peace, said religions must learn to be “bilingual” in the future — becoming adept at addressing their own congregations while also speaking to the world around them.

Vendley speaks from experience.

He has led Religions for Peace, a global coalition of religions that acts as a consultative body for several United Nations agencies, for more than half its 49-year history, taking the job in 1994. During that time, he’s tried to help religious groups address the problems of the world around them.

“It was a very different world when I first become involved with Religions for Peace,” Vendley said in an interview with Religion News Service. 

“The Cold War had just finished and

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