The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

4,500 couples participate in Indonesian interfaith marriage ceremony 20 July , 2011

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) – More than 4,500 Indonesian couples tied the knot at a Jarkarta sports stadium on Tuesday, in what the event’s organizers claim was the world’s largest interfaith wedding event.

The couples were married in Islamic, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist and Hindu ceremonies – with each participating in whichever rites were appropriate. The event’s organizers said the mass wedding was aimed at helping poor couples who couldn’t afford to pay for their own weddings.

A humanitarian organization, Pondok Kasih Foundation, initiated the event and worked with Jakarta’s government and private sponsors to stage the mass wedding.

In a press release, organizers said the event was focused on promoting Pancasila, Indonesia’s state philosophy, which encompasses five basic principles that include belief in one God, just and civilized society, unity and democracy.

“Our value of Pancasila is facing increasing challenges,” the release said. “Our harmonious society is facing increasing threats from extremism and disturbance of public peace.”

Indonesia has seen an uptick in violent attacks from radical Muslim groups in recent years and some human rights groups warn of a general rise in religious intolerance. The Setara Peace and Democracy Institute has recorded a significant rise in attacks on religious minorities.

“We can all be united despite our differences in belief,” the organizers’ statement said, “and we can make a difference in our community that is in need. It is hard to imagine that in our modern society, we have instances of our community that could not afford marriage registration due to their economic circumstances.”



Religious groups gather for Inter-Racial Inter-Religious Harmony Night 13 July , 2011

Filed under: Interfaith Issues — wfamyl @ 4:49 pm
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SINGAPORE : Religious groups in Singapore gathered for the Inter-Racial Inter-Religious Harmony Night on Saturday at Resorts World Sentosa.

The event aims to motivate people to understand and respect the diverse cultures present in the country.

President SR Nathan and Acting Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister Major General Chan Chun Sing, graced the occasion.

The annual event has been held since 2004.

Others who attended included representatives from organisations such as Yayasan Mendaki, the Eurasian Association, the Chinese Development Assistance Council and the Singapore Indian Development Association.



The Power of Unity: Religious Pluralism in the U.K. 6 July , 2011

Every year two thousand Jews in Britain head for a University in the middle of the country for Limmud. This is a cross community education experience with hundreds of different workshops on Jewish religion, life and culture which happens to take place over the Christmas holiday period. It feels wonderfully countercultural to be learning Judaism when the rest of the country is enjoying the rather secularised British Christmas. The University obligingly takes down the Christmas trees and the tinsel for us and a corner of England becomes Jerusalem for a week.

Generally though Britain is a multicultural society. The Government’s National Curriculum requires children to experience religious education throughout their school career. This begins, even in places where there are hardly any Jews, with children in most elementary schools lighting Hanukkah candles, learning about Diwali, the Hindu festival and Eid, the Muslim end of Ramadan, together with putting on the school Nativity Play telling the birth narrative of Jesus. It means that the majority of British children, even if religion plays very little part in their own family life, end up knowing a little about all of the larger religious groups in the country.



Buddhists and Christians Meet to Call for a Just Economy in Thailand 7 October , 2010

Filed under: Interfaith Issues,News — Administrator @ 11:20 am
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A common word on international economic practices has been spoken by representatives of Christian and Buddhist traditions who met in late August at Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

The theme of their consultation was “Engaging Structural Greed”, and their closing statement is titled “A Buddhist-Christian Common Word on Structural Greed”. The consultation in Chiang Mai was co-sponsored by the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation. 

Participants included Theravada and Mahayana Buddhists as well as Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist, Catholic and Reformed Christians. The final statement recognizes that personal and systemic greed is at the core of today’s global financial crisis, and it expresses the hope that an “ongoing inter-religious engagement and cooperation can be a powerful contribution to overcoming greed and realizing a world of greater compassion, wisdom and justice”.



World Faith Board Member’s Op-Ed in Washington Post 9 June , 2010

World Faith Board Member Joshua Stanton, founder of the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, recently co-published an Op-Ed with Zeeshan Suhail from the Muslim Consultative Network in the Washington Post.  Please read!  A Symbol of Progress in Lower Manhattan