Interreligious Initiatives that Bring Leaders
and Citizens Together to Create
a More Harmonious and Equitable World
In a suspected Al Shabab attack that has left two dead, some Muslims stood up in support of their fellow Christian riders, daring attackers to kill them too.
Two people were killed in an attack on a passenger bus in northeast Kenya Monday when suspected Al Shabab militants tried to separate Christian passengers from Muslims aboard, Kenyan officials said.
Three people, including the bus driver were seriously injured in the early morning attack when the bus was heading from the Kenyan capital Nairobi to Mandera town.
The casualty figure could have been much higher in the incident; however, some Muslim passengers reportedly stood up in support of their fellow Christian riders, daring the attackers to kill them too.
“The Muslims stood with the Christians and dared the attackers to kill them all or leave,” Mandera Governor Ali Roba told Anadolu Agency.
JERUSALEM (RNS) An interfaith group gathered in a private home Monday (Sept. 21) to head off potential tensions over how Jews and Muslims celebrate Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha, two holidays that overlap this year.
Two dozen people of various faiths heard a rabbi explain the laws and traditions of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, and a Muslim sheikh explain the laws and traditions of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday that honors the willingness of Ibrahim (the biblical Abraham) to heed God’s order to sacrifice his son.
The day culminated with an interfaith peace walk between the eastern and western parts of the city. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and considers it part of its capital. The Palestinians say East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
John Dabis, an American-born Palestinian peace activist who attended the Abrahamic Reunion meeting, said hating Israelis will not bring either people closer to peace.
“If Jews and Arabs don’t get to know each other on a grass-roots level, nothing will change,” said Dabis, who recently co-founded “Home,” a Jewish-Arab outreach organization. He lives in the Palestinian city of Ramallah. His Jewish co-founder, Inon Dan Kahati, lives in Jerusalem.
Dabis has suffered from a progressive neurological condition since 2001, when, he said, Israeli soldiers fired gas at his car when he inadvertently entered a closed military zone. He uses a wheelchair.
Putting aside bitterness and engaging in coexistence work, he said, helped him emerge from the two-year depression he endured immediately after being injured.
A terrorist attack prompted Elana Rozenman, Abrahamic Reunion co-founder and founder of TRUST-Emun, a multifaith peace organization for women, to engage in coexistence work.
In 1997, her son, Noam, was badly injured in a bombing in downtown Jerusalem. At the hospital, she was whisked into the emergency room.
“I was approached by this doctor, who told me his name was Dr. Khoury. I said: ‘That’s an Arab name. One Arab tried to kill my son and you’re trying to save him.’ I realized that I could go in the direction of ‘All Arabs want to kill us,’ but instead I saw that every person is a human being and some are good and some are bad.”
Rozenman said the 15 years she has spent working with like-minded Muslims, Christians, Jews and Druze is her way of “strengthening the forces of sanity and nonviolence so other mothers do not have to suffer what I suffered.”
Tanenbaum’s vision is a safe world in which religious differences are respected and daily life reflects the highest values of our shared religious and ethical traditions.
Tanenbaum designs trainings and educational resources to change the way people treat one another and to celebrate the richness of our country’s diversity.
In every conflict, you can find men and women driven by their religious beliefs and ready to risk their lives to end death and destruction. From every different religion, Tanenbaum seeks these heroes out. They name them Peacemakers in Action and invite them to join their Peacemakers in Action Network. Each Peacemaker has a unique personal history and approach to making the world safe.
Tanenbaum facilitates their Network, enabling the Peacemakers to support one another and share knowledge and skills.
The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris has left the world reeling. Once again, religion is at the crux of a tragedy that has threatened to tear the global community apart.
But in Bethesda, Maryland, Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders stood together over the weekend to share a message of solidarity. Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church hosted an interfaith service on Sunday joined by members of the Bethesda Jewish Congregation and the Islamic Community Center of Potomac.
Dr. Tarek Elgawhary of the ICCP, Rabbi Schnitzer of BJC and Pastor David Gray of BHPC lead the congregation through a conversation entitled, “The Pitfalls and Promise of Fear in Our Traditions and World.”
Multi-religious cooperation for peace is the hallmark of Religions for Peace. This cooperation includes but also goes beyond dialogue and bears fruit in common concrete action. Through Religions for Peace, diverse religious communities discern “deeply held and widely shared” moral concerns, such as transforming violent conflict, promoting just and harmonious societies, advancing human development and protecting the earth. Religions for Peace translate these shared moral concerns into concrete multi-religious action and public statements.
The Vienna Declaration Welcoming the Other —A Multi-Religious Vision of Peace (2013)
Global Actions to Create a Peaceful World
After five decades of fighting, Colombia and its guerrillas may be the closest they’ve ever been to peace. The parties signed an agreement on Dec. 15 to resolve the thorniest issue of ongoing peace talks: how to provide restitution to the millions of war-crime victims.
Negotiators still have to reach a final peace deal, which is expected in spring. But experts say the victims’ arrangement is a key step in ending the war, and a model for other nations with entrenched internal fighting.
The “Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition,” as the setup is dubbed, is an ingenious balance between the interests of all the involved parties. It takes elements from reconciliation and justice processes used to settle other conflicts around the world, and improves upon them.
The Peace Road Project is a global peace initiative aimed at bringing world peace and prosperity and putting an end to various problems which cause international disputes and conflicts, such as, race and religion.
The International Peace Highway is the transportation network created by Rev. Moon and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon on the 10th International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences in 1981 as a way to implement world peace.
An important objective is the peaceful re-unification of the only divided country in the world, the Korean peninsula. The creation of the DMZ World Peace Park will encourage the support and cooperation of the international community. The International Peace Highway is a way to connect the world into one.
Together to Create a More Harmonious and Equitable World
Despite being held for 14 years without charge at Guantanamo Bay; despite the torture, beatings, and psychological trauma he says he endured there; and despite signs that British intelligence agents knew of the abuse, 48-year-old Shaker Aamer says top UK officials should be granted legal immunity if it will encourage them to tell the truth about their government’s complicity in such atrocities.
“They should be guaranteed that they are not going to go behind bars, so they can tell their part of the story,” Aamer said in an interview with ITV News, his first since returning to the UK in October.
Comparing the U.S. military prison to Harry Potter’s Azkaban—where creatures suck the happiness from criminals—the father of two said Guantánamo Bay is designed to “destroy a human being totally”—mentally, physically, and spiritually.
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