“2017- Year of Islamic Solidarity: Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue”

International conference starts in Baku.

President Ilham Aliyev attends the opening ceremony of the conference

Baku, December 21, AZERTAC

“2017- Year of Islamic Solidarity: Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue” international conference has kicked off in Baku.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is attending the opening ceremony of the conference.

Co-organized by the Caucasus Muslims Office and the State Committee on Work with Religious Organizations, the conference marks the completion of the “Year of Islamic Solidarity”.

Participants in the conference include state, religious figures and scientists from nearly 40 countries, heads and representatives of eight international organizations, special envoys of heads of states of a number of countries, heads of religious communities, members of governments, general public and parliaments, and representatives of the diplomatic corps. The conference opened with the recitation of ayahs from the Quran.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made a speech at the conference.


Dr. Frank Kaufmann’s Keynote Address to the Anuvibha, 9th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action, Jaipur, India

On December 18, Dr. Frank Kaufmann offered the keynote address for session three of the Anuvibha, 9th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action, in Jaipur, India, held from December 18 – 21, 2017.

Here is Dr. Kaufmann’s presentation

Here is the brochure of the concept, sponsors, and organizers of the conference

Anuvibha, 9th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action, Jaipur, India, December 18 – 21, 201… by Frank Kaufmann on Scribd

Here is the full, conference brochure

Final Program: Anuvibha, 9th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action, Jaipur, India, Decemb… by Frank Kaufmann on Scribd

Dr. Frank Kaufmann Receives Interfaith Leadership Award, and Title: Vishva Shanti Padmam

On December 17, 2017, The World Yoga Community awarded IRFWP Director, Dr. Frank Kaufmann, their 14th Interfaith Leadership Award, and conferred on Dr. Kaufmann the title, Vishva Shanti Padmam.

This award and title was first given to Sri Swami Bua Ji Maharaj in 2004





“Interfaith” Should Not Be Sloppy: Start with these Four Basic Steps

We live in a world in which affirming “interfaith” surrounds us like air. This vague sentiment has expanded exponentially in tandem with two surging platitudes-as-virtue from the past half-century, “don’t judge,” and “can’t we all just get along.”

This affirmation and profession of “interfaith” is good, but the facile donning of the sentiment without accountabiltiy or investment is not.

Read the entire article here

New York Mayor De Blasio, Diwali Celebration at Gracie Mansion

New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio

On the beautiful evening of Sunday, October 22, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted a Diwali celebration at Gracie Mansion.

IRFWP director Dr. Frank Kaufmann, with family attended as guests of Guru Dileepkumar Thankappan of the World Yoga Association

Guru Dileepkumar Thankappan

Prospect High School students among select group to pilot national religious studies program

Article originally in the Chicago Tribune

There is a desperate need in the US and the world presently for growth in the capacity to entertain ideas other than one’s own. Harvard University’s Religious Diversity Project, speaks perfectly to this urgent and pressing need.

IRFWP celebrates the efforts of this project, and especially supports the growth of such education in pre-University environments

Students at Prospect High School are among the first teens in the U.S. to participate in a world religions studies class created by professor and scholar Diane Moore, right, and others with the Harvard Divinity School. (Karen Ann Cullotta / Pioneer Press)

When a visiting scholar from the Harvard Divinity School recently delivered a lesson to a classroom of Prospect High School students, the teens were not intimidated to share their opinions with an Ivy League educator.

“It’s important with religious diversity that you can’t judge and take away someone’s rights just because that’s not the way you think,” said Prospect senior Susannah Evett, 17, expressing her reaction to a case study presented by Diane Moore, a religious studies professor and scholar at Harvard.

Moore, who has been working with Prospect teacher John Camardella to pilot new resources developed by the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School for teaching religion in class, thought Evett’s takeaway was spot on.

“My heart sings when I hear that,” Moore replied.

Read the entire article here

How religion motivates people to give and serve

Read article in The Conversation

According to Giving USA, the leading annual report of philanthropy in America, religious contributions (narrowly defined as giving to houses of worship, denominations, missionary societies and religious media) made up 32 percent of all giving in America in 2016.

Another study found that 73 percent of all American giving went to a house of worship or a religiously identified organization.

Read the whole article here in The Conversation