Tony Blair's new Interfaith Foundation has set as its mission the goal of bringing leading figures in the major world faiths together to promote respect and understanding between the major religions, and to encourage inter-faith initiatives to tackle global poverty and conflict. Cynics in Britain - particularly in the commentariat - like to mock such initiatives. One would never see a piece like the cover story in this week's Time in a British equivalent - it lacks the requisite supply of cynicism. Of course, most major religions have parts of their history of which they cannot be proud. But religion, contrary to the fashionable militant atheism of our time, can also be a powerful force for good, and can help to tackle some of our great conflicts. I hope the new foundation helps to show that to be the case.