“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.
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.
‘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.’
Looking to dispel the notion that Islam is an inherently violent religion, a Muslim entrepreneur and an evangelical doctor have come together to create a new translation of the Quran that includes over 3,000 references to the Bible in an attempt to show Americans the commonalities between Islam and Christianity.
Safi Kaskas, a Muslim Lebanese-born strategic management executive and co-founder of East-West University in Chicago, and Dr. David Hungerford, a Christian orthopedic surgeon with over 38 years experience at Johns Hopkins University and The Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, released The Qur’an — With References to the Bible: A Contemporary Understanding earlier this year.
As both Kaskas and Hungerford have deep knowledge of their respective religious texts and serve on the board of the Bridges to Common Ground organization, they felt the need to show that the Quran does not encourage Muslims to senselessly kill non-Muslims in the name of Allah but rather calls on Muslims to find a way to coexist with non-Muslims in peace.
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.
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).
Three major faiths have laid claim to that city. For Jews, it’s the place where, at the End of Days, the Messiah will appear; rebuild the Holy Temple, twice-destroyed; and sort out the righteous from the rest. For Muslims, the city is sacred as the point from which the prophet Mohammad, after a miraculous night flight from Mecca, began a tour of heaven. To Christians, Jerusalem is a giant walk-through reliquary of Jesus’ life and death, with every street, every stone, soaked in his aura.
PM Netanyahu meets with East Asian and Israeli religious leaders Copyright: GPO/Haim Zach
PM Netanyahu met today with East Asian religious leaders who are in Israel for the first interfaith conference organized by the MFA, the American Jewish Committee and the World Council of Religious Leaders
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Religious leaders celebrating the 30th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s Assisi interfaith peace gathering in 1986 called on people from around the world to continue its legacy to combat today’s indifference and violence. The event between 18-20 September was sponsored by the Rome-based Community of Sant’Egidio, the Diocese of Assisi and the Franciscan friars to reflect on the theme, “Thirst for Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue.”
Humanity’s relationship with creation “has a direct impact on the way in which it acts toward other people,” said the patriarch, known for his decades of work on the connection between Christian spirituality and ecology. “Any ecological activity will be judged by the consequences it has for the lives of the poor,” he said. “The pollution problem is linked to that of poverty.”