12/31/2012 09:05 am ET Updated Mar 02, 2013

Religious And Spiritual Leaders Offer Hope For 2013

It is easy to despair in our world where people say and do such horrific things, often in the name of religion. And there are serious challenges that face us in 2013 including inter-religious tension, racism, illness, hunger, misogyny, homophobia, environmental degradation and violence of all kinds.

And yet I am hopeful for the future -- in part because my work introduces me to religious leaders around the world who are using the power of their beliefs to build bridges between people and work for the common good for the entire world.

On HuffPost Religion, religious, spiritual and ethical leaders from all backgrounds share their spiritual wisdom and passion for making the world a better place. I have hope for the future because this diverse chorus of voices is increasingly joining together in the common causes of respect, dignity and justice for all people, and drowning out the voices who use religion to divide or as an excuse for violence of any kind.

In seeking hope for 2013, I turned to some of those leaders and asked them to share their hope for the coming year. May they inspire you as they have inspired me.

Religious Leaders Offer Hope For 2013