Interfaith Harmony Week with World Faith 10 April , 2013
Children’s Book App for Children of all Faiths and Cultures 11 January , 2012
When these two intermingle, the possibilities are boundless. This is what spurred the
creation of And So You Were Born, an interactive children’s book app just released in the
iTunes App Store.
Creator Mona Parsa holds the vision of a unified world – a world in which no intolerance, no
discrimination, and no inequality remain. Believing that this vision will only arrive and remain by
sewing the seeds today (that is, in children), she took her motivations to an arena which
reaches children worldwide – technology – and will appeal to children everywhere no matter their
background – creating this multifaith, multicultural book app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod.
The text of And So You Were Born explains the love that surrounds the child,
and their purpose in taking that love and spreading it to all in return, from God, to family and
friends. Illustrations of landmarks throughout the world, from all faiths and various countries,
end the book in a beautiful, colorful display.
What can make the book app stand out even more from others? Personalization features
which haven’t even been seen yet in other children’s book apps. Parents can record themselves
on video reading 7 different writings from major faith traditions – and when the book reaches
the page that depicts the child giving devotions with his parents, those videos can be played.
Children take delight in seeing their parents in the book! Parents can also provide personal
details of the child, which shows up within the text throughout the pages. Another source of enjoyment
Parsa says that she created these personalization features in order for children to be
able to relate to the app as much as possible. She wants them to feel at one with the text and
illustrations, in order for them to feel close to the message. She hopes the book app will show
children that “they are born noble and that they can easily strive everyday to reach that
perfection, one way being to show love to one and all.”
Parsa explains the age progression of the child in the book, which shows the child
growing older and learning to show goodly character and to pay devotions on his own as the years go
by. She hopes children are encouraged to love all, to be a “brilliant star” in their world, thus
being a source of light and inspiration for others, which can then pass on from person to person,
and eventually throughout the world, thereby illuminating the earth and all its inhabitants.
The character-enriching quality of the app has been caught by a Hollywood director, who
has featured And So You Were Born in a film seen in theaters soon. The app will be shown
in the film as having its selected features used in kindergarten classes – classes focusing on
instilling respect and ethics in children to encourage betterment of the world through the use of
love in their personal and future professional lives.
And So You Were Born can be found in the iTunes App Store at:
Kicking Off the Challenge 23 November , 2011
When President Obama first announced the White House Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge in March 2011, I was unbelievably excited.
At the time, I was a freshman at Georgetown enthusiastic about finding my niche in college, as well as exploring my religious identity and how that intersected with my American nationality. As a sophomore, I am now strongly committed to this Challenge because interfaith cooperation is extremely important to me on a personal level.
I have come to realize that interfaith cooperation is an exemplary reflection of my core values, both as an American and as a Muslim. READ MORE
by Anne Marie Roderick
I know that effective blog posts require some kind of news hook to get people interested, so, take your pick:
Nearly two weeks ago, 24 Copts died in Egypt.
The most common word association with Mitt Romney is “Mormon,”.
In Iran, a Christian leader was sentenced to death for apostasy.
Tensions among Israelis and Palestinians remain high.
My point? Religious tension is real and the need for cooperation across religious, spiritual, and philosophical lines is more important now than ever. READ MORE
Take the “Intolerance Ends With Me” Pledge 21 September , 2011
Since September 1, hundreds of people around the world have pledged to take positive action every day to end intolerance in their communities. We invite you to join [Name of organization] in supporting “Intolerance ends with me,” an on-line pledge campaign organized by United Religions Initiative (URI). Celebrate the International Day of Peace, September 21, by signing your name and working to make your community a place where all are welcome. Let intolerance end with us!
If you’ve already taken the pledge, go on-line to share your actions or find new ideas for action. You can also help spread the word: Click the Facebook, Twitter and Google+ icons anywhere within the campaign website.
Thanks for all you do to build peace in your communities!
Women for Afghan Women’s 10th Anniversary Gala! 5 September , 2011
Women for Afghan Women, a partner of World Faith NYC, is hosting a Gala for their 10th Anniversary. Please join them in their celebration! For more information, please see the flyer.
Sangat TV’s Guerrilla Journalism Wins Fans amid Riots 11 August , 2011
Armed with just a camera and microphone Sangat TV reporter Upinder Randhawa has become a well-known face during coverage of the riots and disorder in Birmingham this week.
Darting around the city, broadcasting as events unfold, he has created a following among viewers and social media users alike.
His direct, and at times, emotional reports on the state of the city seemingly in the grip of looters and rioters seem to have struck a chord with his audience.
Most notably, footage that appears to show his team giving police a lift to chase after a man suspected of being involved in the three deaths in Winson Green on Wednesday has been shown by the BBC, Sky and other outlets.
Besides condemning violence, the Christian-Muslim Covenant of Non Violence in Pakistan urges signatories to actively tackle the root of religious tension and promote interfaith harmony.
The pledge, which has already attracted the high profile backing of Senator Malik Hakmeen Khan and General Secretary of the Human Rights Commission IA Rehman, calls for Christians and Muslims to work together ‘to bring prosperity to the country for all’.
Signatures are being sought from religious leaders and public figures, as well as members of the public looking to register their support for non-violence.
A new symbol for America’s military chaplains 10 August , 2011
Today’s chaplains wear one of four separate insignias: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist. Now that Pratima Dharm is the Army’s first Hindu chaplain, we need to create a fifth. But the time has come to do more: to create a new approach to the insignias that all chaplains wear.
In both religion and the military, symbols carry powerful messages. For generations our armed forces chaplains, spiritual leaders in military uniforms, have themselves served as symbols: symbols of faith during times of chaos; of hope during times of despair; and of dreams during times of nightmares. Chaplains have symbolized for countless men and women in uniform that even in war we do not leave our dreams behind; that even during the worst of times we must continue to believe that better times–even the best of times–are yet to come
With a fifth chaplain insignia (and more in the future, given the religious diversity of our nation) our military personnel will always recognize the cross on a chaplain’s uniform-but will find it harder to remember and recognize insignias worn by other chaplains. During hard times the insignia has been a silent reminder that a chaplain is present. A “ministry of presence” begins with an awareness of presence, and we must recapture the power of the chaplain’s symbol to broadcast the message that he or she is present, part of the team.
Manchester College says it will lead an interfaith initiative to boost literacy and reduce hunger in its northeastern Indiana community.
Officials from the school in North Manchester were among about 200 representatives from higher education and seminaries who gathered at the White House last week for the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge.
Campus Pastor Walt Wiltschek says Manchester will partner with local churches to provide tutoring in satellite centers and houses of worship. It already provides 3,000 tutoring hours annually to elementary schools and literacy centers.
He says the partnership also will support soup kitchens and a food bank.
The 6,000 residents of the town about 30 miles west of Fort Wayne include nearly 1,300 Manchester College students and scores of college faculty and staff.