More than 40 faith leaders gathered together on Monday for the Mobilising Faith Communities in Ending #SexualViolence in Conflict Conference, organised by the Foreign Office and the We Will Speak Out coalition. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, opened the Conference alongside the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, William Hague, Foreign Office Minister The Rt Hon Baroness Anelay and the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on Refugees, Angelina Jolie Pitt. #Timetoact #london #ForeignOffice
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
02/13/2015 AT 01:00 PM EST
Think it's impossible for Angelina Jolie to go anywhere unnoticed?
Well, think again.
While a vast crowd arrived to see Jolie, 39, open the Center for Peace and Security at the London School of Economics on Tuesday, the Oscar winner also snuck into a far more low-profile event the previous day.
On Monday, Jolie mingled at Lancaster House in London with 24 religious leaders from around the world, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, Iraq and South Sudan, to discuss the role that faith groups can play in eliminating the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.
"Most conflict today takes place within states, not between them," Jolie said to the delegates, which included the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and former British Foreign Secretary, William Hague.
"An estimated 90% of all casualties are women and children and rape is a favored military tactic we seem unable to prevent or punish," Jolie continued.
"I recently returned from northern Iraq, where women and girls are systematically targeted by armed groups, including ISIS."
Added Jolie: "The intensity and brutality of the sexual violence is terrifying. It is premeditated, organized, and brazen."
address this, Jolie urged the religious leaders to play a role in raising awareness of the harm that sexual violence causes and to help lift the stigma from rape survivors by fighting against "the pernicious use of supposed religious doctrine to denigrate or dehumanize."
She also asked them to forget their differences and unite for the common good as a "powerful moral force."
"This is violence that respects and spares no one, of any religion or ethnicity," Angelina added. "It is fueled by impunity."
At the end of the meeting – which continued into Tuesday morning – the delegates pledged to speak out against sexual violence in their local communities and take united steps to stand out the crimes.