The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

Houston teens tout interfaith understanding 8 August , 2011

The 50 students who attended Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston’s youth camp last month were just average kids—loud, goofy, iPhone-touting teens. But this isn’t just a generation in love with technology and Justin Bieber. They had some meaningful things to say about their own faith, religious differences and how to promote interfaith understanding.

During the camp, high school and middle school students discuss religious identity and worked together to make videos on common values of mutual respect, positivity and community service, posted below:



One Nation, One Chicago Strives for Interfaith Understanding

Utsav Ghandi didn’t know that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who devours news cycles like a landlocked tiger shark, recently created an Office of New Americans. The office has elicited scant interest in the local press, but the advice of Mr. Ghandi, a chemical engineering student at Illinois Institute of Technology, who arrived a year ago from Mumbai, is succinct.

“Focus on those 12 to, say, 19 years old, the age when they may be most confused about a new world of America,” he said.

Mr. Ghandi, 19, is worth hearing out because of his status as a new immigrant and his involvement in a project called One Chicago, One Nation. Its aim is to improve understanding among the metro area’s various faiths and cultures, especially its estimated 400,000 Muslims. By some counts, that is the largest Muslim concentration in the nation.

One Chicago, One Nation is the product of a post-Sept. 11 effort called One Nation and is largely financed by $200,000 from George F. Russell Jr. of Tacoma, Wash., creator of the Russell 2000 stock index. His aim was to create positive images of a much-caricatured and maligned Muslim population in the United States.



The British Sikh Association Annual Seminar 4 August , 2011

The British Sikh Association (BSA) hosted an inter-faith Seminar at the Nehru Centre, London on 28th July 2011 to promote interfaith dialogue for peaceful coexistence.  

Over 130 guests attended the seminar including high profile guest speakers: Lord Hylton; Lord Popat of Harrow; Founder-Director of Faith Matters, Mr. Fiaz Mughal OBE, FCMI; Vice Chancellor of World Sikh University, Dr. Sukhbir S. Kapoor OBE.

Mrs. Jasminder Kasturia, Acting Director of the Nehru Centre, welcomed guests and was proud that the Nehru Centre was promoting such seminars designed to build bridges between communities. She also said that she was looking forward to more events of this nature in the future.



Putting Unity to the Test 2 August , 2011

‘Muhibah’ may be established between members of society only through friendship, wherein there will be mutual help, kindness and respect.

WHILE diversity of faiths and religions test Malaysians’ capacity for unity, it also accentuates the need of a framework which is practicable and acceptable to all.

Two global scholars, Fazlur Rahman and Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, have suggested in their works that the positive value of religious communities is that they may excel in moral goodness.

According to such interpretation, this is indeed a divine command in the Quran, fastabiqu al-khayrat (al-Maidah, 5:48).




Muslim-Jewish Parley Seeks ‘Platform for Dialogue’ 5 July , 2011

The second annual Muslim- Jewish Conference kicked off in Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday, with 70 students and young professionals coming from around the world to promote mutual understanding between global Jewish and Muslim communities.

The event is sponsored by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding based in New York and the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, among others, with participants coming from Austria, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Israel, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia and the United States.



Public invited to Tuesday forum on 2012 Year of Interfaith Understanding 27 June , 2011

The public is invited to a forum at noon Tuesday at the mayor’s chamber of Muskegon City Hall to discuss an initiative called the 2012 Year of Interfaith Understanding.

The 2012 Year of Interfaith Understanding is designed to “cultivate community, campus and congregational interest in the critical issue of interfaith understanding in West Michigan,” according to its organizer, H. Kay Ostrom.

The initiative is sponsored by the Sylvia and Richard Kaufman Interfaith Institute, Grand Valley State University, the Interfaith Dialogue Association of Grand Rapids and Muskegon County.

The 2012 Year of Interfaith Understanding will “culminate” Oct. 30, 2012, at the Triennial Interfaith Dialogue featuring scholars from the Jewish, Islamic and Christian traditions at Grand Valley State University.



Dialogue Among Different Cultures Sought 16 June , 2011

A NEED to “rethink and re-present our own” beliefs, in order to understand others, arises from the various cultures and religions of different countries, a philosophical theologian said before an international philosophy congress hosted by the University from May 23 to 26.

During the three-day conference Thomism and Asian Cultures: Celebrating 400 Years of Dialogue Across Civilizations, held at the Medicine Auditorium, Canadian professor William Sweet underscored the need to establish an “intercultural philosophy” that will ultimately “generate a shared, fruitful discussion granting equal rights to all.”

Intercultural philosophy is defined as “the endeavor to give expression to the many often marginalized voices of philosophy in their respective cultural contexts.”




Interfaith delegation travels to Istanbul 4 May , 2011

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An interdenominational delegation from Israel will meet with a prominent Muslim preacher in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss ways to enhance understanding between the faiths.

A rabbi, a Catholic priest, a Druse kadi and a Beduin sheikh will spend three days with Adnan Oktar, known also as Harun Yahya, a philosopher and theologian with a large following in the Muslim world.

Such encounters have taken place for a few years now, but this will be the second time the delegation will be headed by Ayoub Kara, Deputy Minister for Development of the Negev and Galilee. Kara has advocated the improvement of ties between Jerusalemand Ankara as a vital need for Israel.

The group will also meet with Mufti of Istanbul Prof. Mustafa Cagrici.

“We are trying, along with people of faith, to create a situation of dialogue, and resistance to extreme Islam and terror,” Mendi Safadi, Kara’s chief of staff, said earlier this week.



Rockford Interfaith Seeks Educate People About Different Religions 11 April , 2011

Filed under: Interfaith Issues,Video — Administrator @ 9:10 am
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The events aim to foster understanding and appreciation of the many different religions in the Stateline area.  Participants were invited to prayer services at the new Mosque and Muslim Community Center, Pilgrim Baptist Church, and Saint Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church.

The meetings are something the president of Rockford Interfaith says are vital to educating people about different cultures.

“There are far more similarities between than differences, far more, maybe a 10 to 1 ratio.  But when we look at various religions we somehow only seem to look at the differences only,” said president of Rockford Interfaith Kanwal Prashar.

Prashar says understanding other religions is key to peaceful relationships in the community.



Spiritual Expedition: Group Tours World Religion Centers 10 March , 2011

From the white marble of a Hindu temple gleaming in the sunset to the multicolored stained glass glowing in a Catholic cathedral, a San Angelo group saw a full spectrum of faiths in a tour of world religions at Houston this past week.

The whirlwind journey covered seven religions in three days, from March 5 to Monday.

“I think this trip just whetted our appetites,” Becky Benes, the trip organizer and a member of the interfaith San Angelo Peace Ambassadors, said.

At almost each stop the group of more than 20 people — including some from Wall, Houston and Abilene — would pile out of a rented tour bus or their own cars and visit temples, centers and churches for an hour or more, getting a lecture and receiving answers to general questions about the place or religion from a guide at the location.

Then the crew would rush to the next stop, under the overarching guidance of a world-renowned professor of comparative religion, Helen Rose Ebaugh.