The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

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.

 

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Muslim and Christian Leaders Pledge Interfaith Harmony

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.

 

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His Holiness and the Art and Science of Interfaith Cooperation 19 July , 2011

What’s the Dalai Lama’s secret? He’s got over two million Twitter followers, people buy his books in droves, his speeches sell out stadiums. In a highly cynical age, he’s held the public’s attention for over two decades with some pretty elementary ideas: the essence of human nature is to be happy, human beings are happiest when they help others attain happiness, all major religions nurture the most basic ingredient of happiness, namely compassion, but you don’t have to be religious to be compassionate, you just have to live up to the basic goodness of your human nature.

Like Socrates saying “I know that I know nothing”, it’s not just the simplicity of the message that attracts people, it’s the remarkable journey of the man who is articulating it. The story of his escape from Tibet into India, his successful establishment of a government in exile, his continual advocacy for peaceful negotiations with his Chinese occupiers even while the culture and lives of his people are crushed day after day — these things are well known, and more than enough to command admiration and attention


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On religion and public Space 20 June , 2011

When a suicide bomb exploded as worshippers left New Year’s mass at a Coptic church in Alexandria, 21 people died and 79 were wounded. It’s hard to imagine a more grim, ghastly, or tragic way to ring in a new decade.

But during Coptic Christmas later that month, Egyptian Muslims formed a human wall around the church, ensuring peaceful worship and demonstrating the utmost respect for their Christian compatriots. In an act of equal loyalty, Egyptian Christians formed a human chain around Muslims during Friday prayers in Tahrir Square during the mass demonstrations in February.

What can we make of this? Rev. Jim Wallis, a leading progressive Evangelical voice in America, has a saying: “God is personal, but never private.” By imagining religion only as a private affair, we ignore the important public elements of faith — whether it means garnering strength from prayer during times of chaos or living out religious convictions by protecting others so they can practice freely.

The truth is each of the world religions call us to engage with one another in public ways, whether it is to house the homeless, feed the hungry, or steward the earth. No matter how we envision heaven, it’s hard to find a religion or philosophical tradition that doesn’t call followers to contribute to our common life here on earth. In taking up this charge religion cannot help but appear in our public square.

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A revolutionary development: Religions are speaking in common tongues 16 May , 2011

Filed under: Interfaith Issues — Administrator @ 4:21 pm
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Religious fanatics capture headlines, but the big story is that interfaith cooperation has reached unprecedented levels. This is because religious communities are increasingly laying aside denominational jargon for the language of public collaboration.

The elderly Venerable Tep Vong, the Supreme Patriarch of the Buddhist community in Cambodia, traveled to Jaffna in Sri Lanka in the middle of the recent civil war. In a broken city under siege, he joined others – Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians – to try to bring a peaceful end to the violent separatist conflict. The force of his quiet Buddhist resolve was unmistakable. Yet he never quoted a single Buddhist scripture. He spoke, instead, in the plainest of ordinary words.

Who would have thought that speaking plainly in ordinary language is revolutionary? But for many religious communities, it is. The revolution is the growth of multi-religious action based upon ancient religious meanings but using new ways to communicate across religious lines. The evidence, if you look, is everywhere: war zones, places of extreme poverty, schools, and regular neighborhoods. Religiously fanatical forces capture headlines, but the big story is that religious communities are actively cooperating on a scale until recently unimaginable. Shoulder-to-shoulder on the front lines of today’s challenges, multi-religious cooperation is mainstream, and it’s growing.

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