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Today, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu were awarded the Fetzer Institute’s Prize for Love and Forgiveness. The prize was presented at the 2009 Peace Summit in Vancouver.

The award honors their work to bring love, compassion, and forgiveness to others. The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu have a history of promoting these qualities in the lives of others and reflecting those qualities themselves.

Desmond Tutu of Cape Town, South Africa, opposed apartheid and led nonviolent opposition to the system in South Africa. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and later worked with the United Nations on various human rights issues. He is an Anglican (Christian) leader.

Learn about the Dalai Lama on Religion Transcends. He is a Tibetan Buddhist, leader of the government in exile, and a successor in the line of Buddha.

“Love, compassion and forgiveness have the power to change, the power to heal and the power to transform any situation—no matter how violent or troubled—into something that is generative and life-giving,” said Tom Beech, president and CEO of the Institute. “The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu are renowned, revered, respected and loved the world over. In giving this award, the Fetzer Institute celebrates their humanity and the consistency with which their lives stand for compassion in the face of isolation, love in the face of fear and forgiveness in the face of violence.”

The two men are actually great friends. The award thus represents their ability to work together and love one another despite their religious differences. It also honors their compassion for the world, transcending religious differences and caring about the heart of the human being. Their lives are proof that compassion can bring about kind acts, regardless of religion. Their work is proof that acts tied to the world’s religions can be positive and transformative.

Congratulations to both of these men. Thank you for your loving acts of service and for showing the world that religious folk can rise above judgment and limitations.

Learn more about Fetzer Institute online.

Created by, 2009 (with quotes from Fetzer)

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