In Al Arabiya (English)
In Beirut’s rapidly evolving skyline, a newly built cathedral bell tower has risen next to the soaring minarets of a landmark mosque, symbolizing both religious coexistence and competition in a city split by sectarian war from 1975 to 1990.
The new bell tower of the 19th century Saint George Cathedral is Beirut’s tallest at 72 metres (236 feet) – the same height as the four minarets of the Mohammad al-Amin mosque that has dominated the city skyline since it was built over a decade ago.
Topped with an enormous cross that lights up at night, the bell tower was inaugurated at the weekend after a decade of construction.
Read the entire article here
Pope Francis arrived in Sweden on Monday for services marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation that split Lutherans and Catholics.
He arrived in the southern city of Malmo, and is scheduled to attend an event withleaders of the Lutheran World Federation on Monday afternoon. He will also lead a service at a Lutheran Cathedral in the city of Lund, and a Mass at the arena in Malmo on Tuesday.
Sweden is a secular, majority-Lutheran country. Some 72 million people belong to the Lutheran church worldwide, according to the Lutheran World Federation. The Vatican estimates about 1.2 billion people have been baptized in the Catholic church.
Read the entire story here
Last week in historic Westminster Hall, UK Parliament, we presented medals to two Business & Interfaith Peace award-winners who couldn’t make it to the Rio ceremony:Baroness Emma Nicholson (pictured on right) and Dr. Fouad Makhzoumi (pictured on left) with RFBF President Brian Grim.
The Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards recognize business leaders – current or past CEOs – who have demonstrated leadership in championing interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace. The Awards are a partnership initiative of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF), and the United Nations Global Compact Business for Peace (B4P) platform, with collaboration from the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
Read the entire article here
From The Zenit
“The more we Christians are united in our defense of peace and in our support, in particular of children in need, the stronger our voice and the more effective our efforts”
From Left To Right: Bishop Selvanos Boutros Al Nemeh, Metropolitan George Abou Zakhem And Patriarch Gregorios III
Acting as “Ambassadors of the Children,” three prominent Syrian Church leaders—Patriarch Gregorios III, the head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church; Greek Orthodox Metropolitan George Abou Zakhem of Homs; and Syrian Orthodox Bishop Selvanos Boutros Al Nemeh of Homs—are this week visiting EU and UN officials, respectively in Brussels and Geneva.
They are carrying close to a million Syrian school children’s signatures on a petition for peace in their country as well as countless drawings expressing the youngsters’ longing for peace, which were formally presented in the Belgian capital to the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz.
In Geneva, they will present the children’s messages to the High Commissioner for Refugees, Dr. Filippo Grandi, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Al-Huzain.
From The International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation
The International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM) is holding its 2016 Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding in New York City. The conference, open to the public, will be held from November 2nd to November 3rd.
The conference is open to the public. To register, please visit the conference website
‘ICERM believes that conflicts involving religion create exceptional environments where both unique barriers (constraints) and resolution strategies (opportunities) emerge. Regardless of whether religion exists as the source of conflict, ingrained cultural ethos, shared values and mutual religious beliefs have the ability to substantially affect both the process and outcome of conflict resolution.
Relying on various case studies, research findings, and practical lessons learned, the 2016 Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding aims to investigate and promote the shared values in the Abrahamic religious traditions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The conference is intended to serve as a proactive platform for a continued discussion on and dissemination of information about the positive, prosocial roles that religious leaders and actors with shared Abrahamic traditions and values have played in the past and continue to play in strengthening social cohesion, peaceful settlement of disputes, interfaith dialogue & understanding, and the mediation process. The conference will highlight how the shared values in Judaism, Christianity and Islam could be utilized to foster a culture of peace, enhance the mediation and dialogue processes and outcomes, and educate the mediators of religious and ethno-political conflicts as well as policymakers and other state and non-state actors working to reduce violence and resolve conflict.’
Read more on ICERM’s conference here→
From The Jakarta Post
Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo (right) talks about electronic identity cards (E-KTP) at the Ombudsman headquarters in Jakarta
MALAYSIA- Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has urged regional administrations to provide more room for the involvement of the Inter-Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) in the decision-making processes of in their respective regions.
“The [FKUB] should always be involved in discussions and their advice should always be heeded in the process of public policy making at the local level,” Tjahjo said at a FKUB national coordination meeting on Thursday.
Strengthening cooperation between various religious communities in public policy making is important, both to ensure religious harmony and to anticipate possible conflicts, Tjahjo said.
From TAP into Westfield
About 600 people attended the third annual Union County Day of Prayer
Nearly 600 people attended came to the Parish Community of St. Helen, in Westfield New Jersey, Wednesday evening, October 5 for “Day of Prayer and Reflection: Honoring People of All Faith Communities” sponsored by Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council and Community Access Unlimited, an organization that provides community access through person-centered support services for adults and adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities and at-risk youth.
Members of the clergy offered prayers and encouraged participants to look at each other as brothers and sisters and to stand up against bigotry and intolerance. Dr. Mohammad Ali Chaudry of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge urged everyone present to sign a pledge to “stand up for the other” that reads:
While interacting with members of my own faith or ethnic community, or with others, if I hear hateful comments from anyone about members of any other community, I pledge to stand up for the other and challenge bigotry in any form.
Mother Durga (Maa Durga)
, the Divine Shakti
(Feminine Energy/Power) represents the power of the Supreme Being.
She preserves moral order and righteousness in the creation. She protects mankind and her devotees from evils, negative forces, and safeguards them.
Mother Durga was created by Lord Vishnu as a Warrior Goddess to protect good people (devas) for fighting the demons. She received blessings by various gods in the form of weapons and emblems (mudras). Therefore, Her Divine Shakti/power contains the combined energies of all the gods.
Her 8 hands carrying different kinds of weapons which represent Her 8 Golden teachings:1. Dharma/Righteousness
4. Character & Moral Values
6. Love, Devotion & Surrender
8. Forgiveness & Her Blessings
Goddess Durga is the removal of our miseries and pains and giver of Shakti, Bhakti and Mukti- Power, Love and Liberation. Let’s pray to Her asking to remove all of our imperfections and faults, purify our minds and hearts (Self-purification), and develop divine qualities (Self-Transformation). Thus we become receptacles of Mother Druga’s Grace and Her blessings of ultimate health, happiness, peace & abundance and experience Her Divine Shakti – Anandamayi Shakti (Self-Realization).
Courtesy of Jai Mata Ji