The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

We Are In This Together: Young People of Different Faiths Reflect on Sikh Shooting 9 August , 2012

Filed under: News — Nele @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , ,

By Harsha Sharma

The Faiths Act Fellowship of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation brought together 34 young people of faith from around the world — creatively highlighting faith as a force for good. Over the course of one year, we mobilized faith groups to engage in sustainable interfaith social action within our local communities and the results were inspiring. As the Fellowship came to a close a few weeks ago, we have reflected deeply on the importance for us as an international cohort to continue our efforts wherever in the world we may be.

The recent events in Wisconsin highlight just why religious tolerance, coexistence and literacy are so imperative in today’s world.

In the wake of the tragic gurdwara shooting, a group of us across continents have come together — inspired by our time working with global Sikh communities.

It was Sunday lunchtime, here in London, that a Sikh friend was discussing the concept of Chardi Kala (a state of mind linked to rising spirits in all situations) with me. When I heard about the gurdwara shooting later that evening my first thoughts were of the families afflicted by this heinous act of terror. As a Hindu, I am deeply inspired by the unwavering state of Chardi Kala demonstrated by the families affected in Wisconsin and pray for their strength.



New York Faith Community and Sikhs of Kenya: A Partnership Is Born 1 June , 2012

Filed under: News — Nele @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Naomi Teutsch

On June 6, 2012, New Yorkers of all faiths will come together to support the Kenyan Sikh community’s efforts to fight the famine that has devastated their region since last summer. Hunger, an issue that cuts across all faiths, is a natural point of connection for the 10 NYC congregations that have been collaborating to fight global injustice since March as part of the Spring of Solidarity campaign. And it’s not too late to take part.

A Season of Multi-Faith Action

Communities and individuals across NYC have been working together not only to have impact on issues of global health and hunger, but to show the positive power that people of faith can have when they unite around action rather than debating divisive issues.

Through the process of raising funds, getting educated on issues and doing local service, participants have had the opportunity to build relationships with people of other faiths as they work to fight against two injustices of our time, food insecurity and malaria. From congregation-based activism and social justice-themed book discussions to an interfaith youth debate programin Queens, the Spring of Solidarity has been a busy season of collective action from diverse groups all over New York City.



Learning From My Neighbors: A Sikh’s Interfaith Journey 9 June , 2011

While growing up as a kid in northern India in the early 1980s, I fondly remember one of my best friends in high school, Sher Ali Khan. He was a devout Muslim.

While in 9th grade, Sher Ali called me over to his home for the Islamic festival of Eid. The food at the table was overflowing and beautifully decorated. But a dilemma faced me soon. All the meat on the table was halal — a special religious technique of preparation of meat in the Islamic faith that I as a Sikh was forbidden to eat, due to the Sikh Rehat Maryada (Principles of Sikh Living). So I chose to stay a silent vegetarian that day partaking only of vegetables and sweets.

A couple of months later, he was over at our home for dinner and we had cooked meat without any religious preparation. Since the meat was not halal, Sher Ali became a vegetarian for that meal.

At that time I thought that our religions were getting in the way of our friendship. But as I reflect on it now, it seems that we were learning how to negotiate our religious differences.




Weapons of Mass Instruction: UK Faith Communities Launch Faith in The Arms Trade Treaty 7 March , 2011

Filed under: Interfaith Issues,News — Administrator @ 1:32 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Most top arms suppliers – the UK, US, France and Germany – backed a resolution in the UN General Assembly in 2009 that will guide negotiations on a treaty. Zimbabwe voted against the resolution, and 19 countries abstained, including major arms producers Russia, China, India and Pakistan. It is hoped the UK faith communities’ strong links in countries that currently abstain will influence negotiations. Faith’s influence was central to building the consensus to secure the Cluster Munitions Convention.

Representatives of the UK’s faith communities at the Birmingham summit, hosted by Religions for Peace UK, and the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) Gurdwara, will launch a public petition called Faith in the Arms Trade Treaty, which will be presented at a United Nations meeting in two weeks time, preparing for the negotiating conference that will take place in 2012,  the weapons equivalent of the COP15 climate change conference. Members of the British public are being encouraged to sign the petition READ MORE


Faith, Religion, and Identity 17 October , 2007

Filed under: Blog Post — Frank Fredericks @ 4:58 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

For those who want a summary of what is to  come in this post, it is most easily classified as a rant.  Be warned.

 Faith and Religion are two words I often see used interchangeably, but I fear this may only be a sign of detriment of the current vanacular to explain phenomona which see outside the self, thus, religious people have been removed from the discourse.  This appears to be a product of the fact that in the name of freedom of religion, we have developed the concept of freedom <em>from</em> religion.  Beyond the obvious fact  that religious views have been removed from the conversation of the society, it also poses a second problem. <!–more–>

When the interaction exists in a discourse, the indentity of of a religious person is set in an idealogical framework.  Faith.  Faith in  this case is a indentity bound to philosophy.  The being is as such.  However, with the current situation, religious identities are not represented intellectually in the public discourse, therefore the society can easily create the identity on practices.  Religion.  Religion is seen a system of practices by which one can be identified.  Without the interaction and only practices to base assumption off of, manifestations of stereotypes should be of no surprise, as faith identities have been denied the opportunity to reveal their relative dynamicism.  This opens up a whole new discussion, as now the non-religious have grouped the people of faith identities in a single stereotype, for instance, of uneducation.  This gives birth to fabricated oxymorons, things completely possible and congruent yet considered anomalies.  Liberal Christian, White Muslim, or American communist.  Granted the desire to remove religion from conversation by means of making appear as folly is nothing new, the communities of faith have only fed the image by devoting what reach they have had on attacking eachother (especially those philosophically most similar), rather than uniting for a campaign of improving the image of faith in general.  Faith translates well, it takes faith to believe Marxist-Lenninism, Secular Humanism, etc, all the same of religions.  Religions are essentially theistic philosophies.  I would go as far to say it requires at least an equal ammount of faith to believe there is no god than to embrace theism, even in its most elemental form.

to be continued…