Praise for the glorious and gracious life of Huston Smith

On January 1, 2017, Professor Huston Smith ascended to the heavenly realms.

Huston Smith was Secretary General of the Inter Religious Federation for World Peace for many years, a great and wise guide for our efforts for peace and reconciliation and collaboration among believers, as believers are we all

We will greatly miss Huston here on the earthly plane, and pray that we may continue entwined in him and his continuing light.

Blessings Beloved Huston

Huston Smith in New York in 2005, after the publication of his book “The Soul of Christianity: Restoring the Great Tradition.” CreditTina Feinberg/Associated Press

Huston Smith, Author of ‘The World’s Religions,’ Dies at 97

Local interfaith groups to pray for peace on New Year’s Day

From Levittown Now & the Asian American Press

Tying together communities and faiths in celebration, local interfaith initiatives will open the New Year with prayers for peace.  Out of Pennsylvania and Nevada come two stories of such efforts.

(Yardley Borough, PA)- The Annual New Year’s Celebration for Peace marks the New Year with optimism and hope.

Participants will share an hour of spontaneous prayers for peace in Israel/Palestine, the Middle East and throughout the world. People can feel free to be creative and join the group in prayer, song, music, silence or any way attendees are moved.

Sponsoring the celebration are the Interfaith Community of Lower Bucks. The Peace Center and Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace (ICMEP.)

Read the entire article here.

 

(Reno, NV)— In a remarkable interfaith gesture and a unique way to welcome 2017, various religions are getting together in Reno to celebrate the ringing in of the New Year in a divine manner away from the glitter of the casinos.

Coordinated by distinguished religious statesman Rajan Zed, “Multi-faith New Years’ Eve Service” hosted by Reno Buddhist Center will include Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, Shinto and Native American prayers.

Read the entire article here.

Two signs in India that inter-religious tolerance thrives despite tensions

From Crux

Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, and Christians celebrate together in Varanasi, India, on Dec. 21.

(MUMBAI, India) – Although India’s increasingly hard-line Hindu nationalist movements can often make life difficult for religious minorities, including the country’s 30 million Christians, two recent episodes illustrate the deep undercurrent of tolerance that still pervades traditional Indian values.

In southeastern India in Telangana, a state governor known for deep Hindu piety and attachment to mystical Hindu principles of architecture and design nonetheless took part in a Christian banquet celebrating Christmas, pledging to step up protection and public funding for Christian churches that find themselves under threat.

In the north in Varanasi, meanwhile, a city considered the spiritual capital of the country, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Christians all came together for an interfaith celebration on Dec. 21, taking advantage of the coincidence that major feasts for all those traditions fell this year around the same date.

Read the entire article here.

Pakistan calls for promotion of inter-religious & intercultural dialogue for peace

From Dunya News

Pakistan urged the 193-member world body to join hands to eliminate prejudices, biases and stereotypes.

(NEW YORK)- Pakistan called on the international community to strengthen mechanisms and actions for the promotion of dialogue and understanding among all religions and civilizations, says a press release received from New York on Friday.

The resolution introduced by Pakistan and Philippines and co-sponsored by 43 countries was adopted by the UN General Assembly by consensus.

Pakistani envoy said that much of the growing mistrust could be traced to the growing gap in understanding and lack of tolerance among the various religions and civilizations of the world. “Extremist and terrorist groups exploit this gap to propagate their own toxic agenda”, he added.

Pakistani diplomat said that despite differences, religions and cultures have a lot of commonality that can actually unite us. “We need to build on these shared values”.

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Christian-Hindu dialogue a “moral imperative” in promoting peace

In Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Christians and Hindus are called to be a “light of peace” in order to challenge violence and hatred, a senior cardinal has said.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran heralded a new chapter in Christian-Hindu relations and said inter-religious dialogue was a “moral imperative” in his speech to a conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

The president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue told delegates that religions are not the cause of violence and hatred, “but rather are part of the solutions to problems created by religious fanatics with vested interests”.

Read the whole article here

Beirut skyline captures religious rivalry and harmony

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

In Show Of Unity, Pope Francis Marks 500th Anniversary Of Protestant Reformation

In NPR

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

Nicholson and Makhzoumi Honored at Historic Westminster Hall

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