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Interfaith Issues
How religions are working together to build a better world.
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'To Light a Candle': A Testimony on Severe Condition of Baha'is in Iran

'To Light a Candle': A Testimony on Severe Condition of Baha'is in Iran | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it
'To Light a Candle' unveils decades of repression, persecution and intimidation against a peaceful community of Iranians whose lives have been dramatically undermined by religious intolerance by the Iranian ruling class....
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

"In this chilling documentary, Bahari features five former Iranian prisoners who were hunted by intelligence forces and forced to confess against their uncommitted crimes before national TV. As newspapers and activists cannot speak publicly of the use of "forced confessions" against prisoners, judiciary and intelligence agencies have continued to employ this method--intimidating the public and justifying the arrests of political and cultural figures, notably Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei."

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Berlín construye la primera "iglesia-mezquita-sinagoga"

Berlín construye la primera "iglesia-mezquita-sinagoga" | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it
El edificio se llamará "La casa de Uno" y será una sinagoga, una iglesia y una mezquita bajo un solo techo; cada una de las tres áreas será del mismo tamaño, pero de distinta forma
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

El movimiento hacia la unidad en diversidad de las religiones es un hecho tan claro, aunque inicialmente tan imperceptible, como el amanecer de un nuevo día.

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Islamic prayers to be held at the Vatican

Islamic prayers to be held at the Vatican | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

"For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Interfaith prayer is a growing socio-spiritual phenomenon that has the potential to unite hearts and minds. Kudos to the Vatican!

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Faith leaders call for release of Iran's imprisoned Baha'is

Faith leaders call for release of Iran's imprisoned Baha'is | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

The program included prayers and reflections delivered by representatives of the Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian communities. After the contributions, seven of the faith leaders each lit a candle, representing a prisoner.


Parliamentarians, government officials, civil society actors, academics, and representatives of interfaith organizations were also in attendance. Louise Ellman MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Friends of the Baha'is group, said that the event was taking place "in the context of an ongoing deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran".

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

One more example of the religions of the world uniting in support of each other and of global justice.

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‘Abdu’l-Hamid Ma‘sumi Tihrani’s Thank You Letter to His Supporters - Iran Press Watch

‘Abdu’l-Hamid Ma‘sumi Tihrani’s Thank You Letter to His Supporters - Iran Press Watch | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

"By expressing their approval, both directly and indirectly, religious leaders and followers of other faiths and religions, as well as intellectuals in numerous countries, have added to the value of this step which calls for the equality of all human beings and religious freedom to be upheld and for religious and sectarian prejudices to be rejected.


"Plainly, communities everywhere are wearied and resentful of prejudice, religious discrimination, and self-superiority; people the world over are seeking the means to free their societies of these disastrous ills for they invariably lead to insecurity, cruelty, and even death."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

A very valuable contribution to interfaith harmony, understanding and collaboration.

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In Myanmar, prize-winning feature film sheds light on misunderstood minority

In Myanmar, prize-winning feature film sheds light on misunderstood minority | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

Mr. Latt's desire to create a film about the Kayan was very much motivated by his Baha'i beliefs. "Very simply, humankind is one," he said. "Kayan Beauties is a movie for humankind, containing lessons and ideas for all humans. No religion accepts discrimination, trafficking and selling people. Also, the promotion of women's empowerment is strong in the story. It shows that in remote areas and villages, there are real people; they are not somehow less than city people."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Yet another example of people of diverse religions working together to build a better world.

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Jalal ad-Din Rumi - I am not of this world

"I am neither of the West nor the East
Not of the ocean, nor an earthly beast
I am neither a natural wonder
Nor from the stars yonder

"Neither flesh of dust, nor wind inspire
Nor water in veins, nor made of fire
I am neither an earthly carpet, nor gems terrestrial
Nor am I confined to Creation, nor the Throne Celestial

"Not of ancient promises, nor of future prophecy
Not of hellish anguish, nor of paradisic ecstasy
Neither the progeny of Adam, nor Eve
Nor of the world of heavenly make-believe

"My place is the no-place
My image is without face
Neither of body nor the soul
I am of the Divine Whole."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Through multilingual word, multi-instrumental music and passionate Sufi dance, this call to universality by the great mystic Rumi comes alive and moves the deepest fibres of the heart.

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Why are 5 Million 'Spies' Celebrating the First Day of Spring?

Why are 5 Million 'Spies' Celebrating the First Day of Spring? | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it
Arranging for so many 'secret agents', including Arctic Inuit and Kalahari tribes people, to celebrate "Naw Ruz", a holiday special to Iranians and other countries with historical ties to Persia, seems to be a bizarre way to commit sedition...
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Happy Naw Rúz to all the richly diverse citizens of this beautiful (new) world!

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▶ RESPECT EARTH: A multifaith prayer vigil

The Vigil focused on the mining of fossil fuels. FEN members believe that energy issues go beyond purely economic considerations to embrace moral and spiritu...
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Festivals of the World: the Essence of Christmas

Festivals of the World: the Essence of Christmas | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

Should Christmas be an exclusive Christian event?

This Muslims' answer is no. We cannot limit Jesus to be exclusively owned by any group of people, nor can anyone monopolize his message. Jesus and his message belong to the whole of humanity.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

An interesting reflection by a man who has dedicated his life to interfaith understanding, harmony and collaboration.

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"Five Years Too Many" campaign gathers momentum

"Five Years Too Many" campaign gathers momentum | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

Throughout the world people are raising their voices in a global campaign to free the seven imprisoned Iranian Baha'i leaders.

 

The "Five Years Too Many" campaign marks the fifth anniversary of the arrest of the seven and seeks to highlight their entirely unjust and wrongful imprisonment and the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The article ends: "This is a government that also prevents Sunnis from worshiping, flogs Sufis, and detains Zoroastrians without charge simply for who they are. This is a government that raids house churches and arrests Christian leaders for their activities. The government discriminates harshly also against Jews and confiscates property from a variety of religious communities."

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Op-Ed: Propaganda desensitizes Iranian public to Baha'i persecution

Op-Ed: Propaganda desensitizes Iranian public to Baha'i persecution | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it
Daily discrimination against Baha'is in Iran continues as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad convinces the Iranian population of the Religion's attempt to undermine the State.
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Muslim Americans Exemplify Diversity, Potential

Muslim Americans Exemplify Diversity, Potential | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it
Muslim Americans are the most racially diverse religious group in the United States. Muslim American women are among the most educated in the country, and young Muslim Americans report among the lowest levels of being registered to vote.

Via Rachel Borsch
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New Religious Affairs Minister Supports State Recognition of other Religions

New Religious Affairs Minister Supports State Recognition of other Religions | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

“The Constitution never mentioned official religions — it only said that people are free to hold a religion or belief and worship according to their religion and belief. The problem is with the Religious Affairs Ministry, which in this case being exclusive and discriminative.”

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

"Some years ago, a Baha’i was arrested in Lampung because he was accused of spreading heresy,” Bonar said. “In another case in Central Java, people refused to bury a Baha’i in their village. There are also many cases when the civil registry office refused the marriage registration of believers outside the six officially-recognized religions. Some population administration offices forced them to choose one of the six religions.”

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Families of Slain Israeli and Palestinian Teens Turn to Each Other for Comfort

Families of Slain Israeli and Palestinian Teens Turn to Each Other for Comfort | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it
The families of murdered Israeli teen Naftali Fraenkel and murdered Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir are drawing comfort from an unexpected source: each other.
Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Asked why they had come, one Palestinian said, “Things will only get better when we learn to cope with each other’s pain and stop getting angry at each other. Our task is to give strength to the family and also to take a step toward my nation’s liberation. We believe that the way to our liberation is through the hearts of Jews.” He later said that the visit went very well from his perspective. “They received us very, very nicely. The mother [Rachel Fraenkel] was incredible.” “I see before me a Jewish family who has lost a son opening the door to me,” he added. “That’s not obvious. It touched my heart and my nation.”

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In the Arab world, a new discourse on religious coexistence takes root

In the Arab world, a new discourse on religious coexistence takes root | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

"Throughout the Arab world, a new discussion on how to live peacefully side by side with the followers of all religions has begun to take shape.


"This discourse is inspired partly by the dramatic call of an Iranian Ayatollah for religious coexistence with Baha'is, but has since taken on a life of its own, becoming a heartfelt discussion about the situation of religious freedom in Arab lands."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

An idea whose time has come...

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"We did it" Faith leaders historic embrace - FAMVIN News

"We did it" Faith leaders historic embrace - FAMVIN News | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

"Papal visit leads to embrace between Christian, Jew and Muslim at Wailing Wall. Pope Francis, Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Muslim leader Omar Abboud collapsed in a heartfelt embrace before the Western Wall.

As they hugged each other, they exclaimed, “We did it!”

 

The Rabbi, the Muslim leader and the Pope met each other in Buenos Aires. For years, the three have worked together to foster greater understanding between their faiths. With this simple gesture, they showed that this type of action is possible."

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Simple gesture? Sometimes the greatest of statements are made in the simplest of ways...

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Ayatollah Tehrani's gift stirs global conversation on religious co-existence - Bahá'í World News Service

Ayatollah Tehrani's gift stirs global conversation on religious co-existence - Bahá'í World News Service | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

NEW YORK — The ground-breaking gift of a senior Iranian cleric to the worldwide Baha'i community is beginning to stir a global conversation about religious co-existence and freedom of religion.


More statements of support for the actions and words of Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani have been issued in the United Kingdom and India, and other prominent individuals are offering comments in the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States.

 

The response comes after Ayatollah Tehrani bravely gave to the Baha'is of the world a calligraphic rendering of Baha'i sacred verses, along with a plea for religious "co-existence".

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

This shows how one sincere, dedicated individual can turn the tide for the world, and is a shining example for all.

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Senior Anglican leaders praise "significance" and "courage" of Iranian ayatollah's gift to Baha'is

Senior Anglican leaders praise "significance" and "courage" of Iranian ayatollah's gift to Baha'is | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

Lord Rowan Williams of Oystermouth, the former archbishop of Canterbury, said the gift of Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani was of "immense significance".

 

"It represents not only a personally gracious gesture but also a strand within the Islamic world at its best and most creative which is deeply appreciative of all that helps human beings to respond to God's will for peace and understanding," said Dr. Williams.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

Here is an exemplary confluence of three world religions appreciating, praising and supporting each other.

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In an unprecedented symbolic act senior cleric calls for religious co-existence in Iran - Bahá'í World News Service

In an unprecedented symbolic act senior cleric calls for religious co-existence in Iran - Bahá'í World News Service | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it

NEW YORK — In a symbolic and unprecedented move, Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani, a prominent Muslim cleric in Iran, announced today that he has gifted to the Baha'is of the world an illuminated work of calligraphy of a paragraph from the writings of Baha'u'llah, the Prophet-founder of the Baha'i Faith.

This move comes in the wake of several recent statements by religious scholars in the Muslim world who have set out alternative interpretations of the teachings of Islam in which tolerance of every religion is, in fact, upheld by the holy Qur'an.

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The Most Basic of Truths

What is the most basic of truths? Perhaps it is not something you are expecting. Perhaps you already know it, but have not acted upon it. Perhaps it is time for you to accept the most basic of human truths.

Peter C. Newton-Evans's insight:

The author says: "My 10-year old daughter, my wife, and myself have created  a short 7-minute video of a bedtime children's story I told my kids many years  ago.  Adults will have no problem relating to this as well.  It is a  simple demonstration of how all people pray to the same God no matter what name  we may refer to him as.  It also explains how humans may create veils that  hide this truth.  Please use and distribute as you like, but do not  alter it."

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The Cordoba Initiative

Founded in 2004, the Cordoba Initiative is a multi-national, multi-faith organization dedicated to improving understanding and building trust among people of all cultures and religions.

The name Cordoba was chosen to symbolize the time in history when Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in peace and harmony and created a prosperous center of intellectual, spiritual, cultural and commercial life in the city of Cordoba in Southern Spain.[1]

The Cordoba Initiative is the vision of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Imam Feisal brings together leaders across the Muslim-West divide to speak out for innovative, proactive, and positive solutions to shared challenges. In this capacity, Cordoba Initiative can provide novel solutions to those areas where conflict between Islamic and Western communities undermine local and global security.[2]

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No, Conservatives, America Isn’t A Christian Nation: The Rise Of Religious Diversity

No, Conservatives, America Isn’t A Christian Nation: The Rise Of Religious Diversity | Interfaith Issues | Scoop.it
In conservatives’ preferred vision of America, we are a white Christian nation.

Via Rachel Borsch
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