INTERFAITH NEWS FROM 2014....

A leading Muslim in the Philippines has urged people of all faiths to support Pope Francis in his efforts for peace. Read more

Young Copts and Muslims are coming together at a grassroots level to explore their shared values and to bring healing to Egyptian society in an educational initiative of the Egyptian Family House. Read more

A Summit of Christian and Muslim Religious Leaders in Rome attended by Shi’ite, Sunni, Anglican/Episcopal and Roman Catholic leaders sees a great opportunity at this time to work together effectively with governments and civil societies currently in turmoil. Read more

Over 400 people of all ages and from all parts of the country participated in a landmark meeting between Christians and Jews organized by the Italian Bishops' Conference. Read more

In the conflicted Iraqi city of Kirkuk, Muslims have asked their Christian friends not to leave since their presence is valued by the whole population. Read more

An Indonesian court is currently tackling the divisive issue of interfaith marriage, taking submissions from a variety of the country’s most influential religious leaders. The opinions are as divergent as the country’s faiths. Read more

The Imam-Priest Exchange is one of the most dynamic projects of the Egyptian Family House, an entity created in 2011 by the Azhar University and Coptic Orthodox Church aimed at tackling the tensions between followers of the two faiths in the country. Read more

A young Australian woman has inspired a gathering of global religious leaders, including the pope, to sign a declaration pledging to eradicate modern-day slavery by 2020. Read more

Pope Francis prayed alongside Istanbul’s Grand Mufti Rahmi Yaran in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque during his November 2014 visit to Turkey. The Vatican described the gesture as a “moment of silent adoration” of God. Read more

The Illawarra People for Peace, made up of representatives from many local religious communities, are holding a free halal barbecue in November 2014 in Wollongong (NSW)  to help boost unity, friendship and harmony in the local community. Read more   

At the G20 Interfaith Summit, held at the Gold Coast in conjunction with the G20 Leaders Conference in Brisbane, Andrew West (ABC Radio National), Neville Rochow SC ( Adelaide University and Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), and Giulia Jones MLA (ACT Shadow Minister) explored the contribution that faith and religions make to economic development and social cohesion. Listen here Professor Ram Cnaan (University of Pennsylvania) and Dr Brian Grim (Georgetown University in Washington DC) discuss the financial impact of religious freedom on companies and communities. Listen here Read the Consensus Statement from the G20 Interfaith Summit 2014 here

Religious leaders of different faiths unite in outcries against murders of Jewish worshippers. Read more

The Catholic-Muslim Forum meeting at the Vatican Nov. 11-13 urges dialogue to promote greater respect and understanding and condemned all acts of violence committed in the name of religion. Read more

Australian Faith leaders have written an Open Letter to G20 leaders to act on climate change. Read more

Olive ribbon – it’s a sign of peace for Western Sydney. Read more

Christians from Iraq tell a story of being saved by a Muslim Good Samaritan in a way reminiscent of the anti-Nazi Christians who hid Jews and helped them escape persecution. Read more

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the World Council of Churches have each addressed a message to the world's Hindu community for the festival of Deepavali, a celebration that marks the victory of truth over falsehood, light over darkness, life over death, and good over evil. Read the PCID message here Read the WCC message here

Muslim families take care of three synagogues in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community. Read more

British Muslims have expressed fury and anguish in the wake of the brutal killing of aid worker Alan Henning by Islamic State (Isis) militants at the start of the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha. Read more

Australians band together to show support for the Muslim community. Read more

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani will visit St. John the Divine cathedral of the Episcopal diocese of New York for a meeting with representatives of various religious communities while in New York for the UN General Assembly. Read more

When churches attempt to speak out about the denial of rights of Indigenous Peoples they are often told by governments that the church has no place in politics. But now a new "outcome document" of the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples is inviting churches and other civil society groups to be seen and heard when it comes to advocating for Indigenous Peoples’ human rights. Read more

As hundreds of thousands of people flooded through city streets on 21 September in a march for action on climate change, 30 faith leaders at an interfaith conference jointly hosted by the World Council of Churches and the interfaith coalition Religions for Peace  signed their names to a statement calling for concrete actions to curb carbon emissions. Read more

Recent meetings of the Australian National Dialogue of Jews, Christians and Muslims in Sydney have discussed the role of women in each religion. Read more

Eleven organisations with roots in Christian and Muslim faiths have joined forces and issued an urgent call for the end of what they called “horrific” suffering in Iraq. Read more

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in humanitarian work. The signing is the first official cooperation between a global Christian and a global Islamic humanitarian organization. Read more

A new statement  by the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released in August 2014 cites respect for Muslims from Vatican II, expresses sadness over violence, and reaffirms Catholic commitment to dialogue with our Muslim brothers and sisters. Read more

A new statement  by the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released in August 2014 cites respect for Muslims from Vatican II, expresses sadness over violence, and reaffirms Catholic commitment to dialogue with our Muslim brothers and sisters. Read more

Father Pierbattista, leader of the Franciscans in the Holy Land, says that the survival of minority groups in the Middle East will not come from the use of military force, but will depend on the courage and willingness of the region’s inhabitants’ to love and care for one another (Catholic Leader, 31 August 2014) . Read more

“Dialogue in Truth and Charity”, published by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the 50th anniversary of its institution by Pope Paul VI in 1964 as “Secretariat for Non-Christians”,  aims at providing assistance for pastors and all the Faithful who live and work with the people of other religions. Download the document

Georgian Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili shares the courageous story of his Evangelical Baptist community and its advocacy work with Chechen Muslim refugees. Read more

Over 90 Dominican priests, religious brothers and sisters, and laity recently held a week-long meeting in Surabaya, Indonesia to share their unique experiences of interreligious dialogue and of working for justice in many diverse situations. Read more

Religious leaders reject negativity directed at Australian Muslims. Read more

The United States Catholic bishops re-affirm that the Church remains committed to dialogue with people of other religions, and with Muslims in particular. Read more

Plans are advancing for the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change, to be held in New York from 21 to 22 September. A new website (http://www.interfaithclimate.org) featuring interfaith perspectives on climate change, highlighting the upcoming summit has recently gone online.

In August 2014 the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issued a statement asking for religious leaders, especially Muslims, and all people of goodwill to take a clear and courageous stance on the crimes being committed in Iraq by jihadists of the “self-stated Islamic State” against Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities.

Muslim leaders in Indonesia have condemned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and its leadership, saying "We need peace and harmonious co-existence.....no war among ourselves or with other religions". Read more

Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders, including Jordanian Prince El Hassan bin Talal, have issued a joint statement, expressing “horror” at the use of religion to justify violence in the Middle East – “an appalling blot on the proud tradition” of more than 1,700 years of pluralism. Read more

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has wished Muslims in the UK and around the world “Eid Mubarak” as they celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Read more

Professor Mahmoud Al ‘Asali, a Muslim law professor at the University of Mosul, took a stand against the actions of the ISIS militants which he believed went against the Muslim commandments. But he paid for this gesture with his life. Read more

Catholics in Indonesia hope that Jokowi’s election as president will open up a path for pluralism and protection of all religions. Read more

The time has come for religious leaders to become the standard bearers of the principle of the equality of women and men the Australian Baha'i community has stated in its submission to a Federal Parliamentary enquiry. Read more

“Towards a genuine fraternity between Christians and Muslims” is the title of the message which the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue addressed to Muslim faithful to mark the end of Ramadan 2014.The message was signed by PCID president, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and its secretary, Fr. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ.

As the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins a Catholic priest sees it as a challenge for all Australians and American Kevin Childress reflects on his experience as a non-Muslim fasting during Ramadan.

The Anglican bishop of Colombo has condemned violence against the minority Muslim community in Sri Lanka. Read more

From 8 to 21 June, at the Metta Karuna Reflection Centre in Siem Reap, young Christians are learning to engage in interfaith relations while working for justice and peace. Read more

A Catholic bishop and an imam have reached out to 600 Muslim refugees in the Central African Republic. Read more

Pope Francis gathered with the Presidents of Palestine and Israel, Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres, along with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and delegations representing Jews, Christians and Muslims, in the Vatican on the evening of Sunday 8 June to pray for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world. Read the text of the address of Presidents Abbas and Peres, and Pope Francis.

The prayer meeting between Pope Francis, the Palestinian president Abu Mazen and Israeli president Shimon Peres will take place at the Vatican on Pentecost Sunday, 8 June. Read more

Pope Francis has fearlessly confronted the Israeli-Palestinian situation and will be preaching a powerful message about "co-existence without fear" during his visit to the Holy Land. Read more

Pope Francis' three-day visit to the Holy Land will have four main goals. Read more

Pope Francis will be accompanied by a rabbi and Muslim leader on his first visit to the Middle East. Read more See program of this visit.

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation on Monday 19 May. Read more

A two day meeting held under the joint patronage of Jordanian Prince El Hassan bin Talal, founder and president of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies, and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has called for greater solidarity and better religious education for children and young people. Read more

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Presidency of Religious Affairs in Turkey (Diyanet) have met at the Vatican to explore possible future collaboration. Read more

Relationships have deepened as an interfaith group including Jewish, Christian and Muslim women in Jerusalem has been meeting together for ten years.  Read more 

Thai religious leaders have joined together in prayers for peace. Read more

An interfaith discussion has inspired Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to shift his stance on the holocaust. Read more

Pope Francis is encouraging Christians and Muslims to work together for peace through a common devotion to the Virgin Mary. Read more

Religious leaders in metropolitan Detroit call for cooperation among different faiths to boost programs aimed at ending crime and violence. Read more

Australian religious leaders from ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change), held meetings with members of Parliament in Canberra recently  to advocate that Australia contributes its fair share of the global effort to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to assist with the adaptation of vulnerable populations. They presented an open letter urging climate responsibility, and held a prayer service and a press conference.

The Women’s Interfaith Institute incorporated as a non-profit, educational organization in New York State in 2002 continues to break new ground. Read more

For the first time in history, Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Muslims have joined forces in a project known as the Global Freedom Network to “inspire practical and spiritual action” to combat modern slavery and human trafficking.  Read more here and here

In an unprecedented show of support from the faith sector, today religious leaders and affiliates from the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) held a prayer vigil near one of the entry points to Whitehaven Coal’s mine construction site at Boggabri in NSW in support of a blockade.   Read more   See more photos here

Jewish citizens of the Ukraine have boldly addressed President Putin on behalf of Ukraine’s national minorities, accusing him of defaming the revolutionary movement for democracy of Maidan Square and dividing the country. Read more

The power of women as agents of peace: amid 39 active conflicts over the last 10 years, few women have actually been at the table of peace negotiations. Out of 585 peace treaties drafted over the last two decades, only 16 percent contain specific references to women. Not including women in decision making processes towards peace often means that female concerns are not addressed. Read more

The world’s largest Buddhist charity is helping rebuild a Catholic church in Tacloban City that was badly damaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan last November. Read more

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has expressed its support for an appeal against a Malaysian court decision forbidding the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.  Read more  Read the full text of the letter of the WCC general secretary here

Cornelis Hulsman, the editor-in-chief of the independent weekly Arab West Report, says there  is something deeply wrong with the arguments made by Egyptian-American author Raymond Ibrahim who interprets all violence of Muslims against Christians as something that is motivated through Islam as religion but conveniently neglects the millions of Muslims who are entirely opposed to such violence. Read more here

Christian leaders fear court decision to bar non-Muslim Malaysians using the word ‘Allah’ will create unnecessary division between Christians and Muslims in Malaysia. Muslim leaders in Malaysia have denounced  the head of a Malay Muslim supremacist group for "sowing hatred against Christians".

Meeting with young refugees being supported by the Roman parish of Sacro Cuore, Pope Francis invited those who were Christians who read the Bible and those who were Muslims who read the Koran to share their suffering and faith because “there is one single God, one same God”. Read more

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reflected on the message from Pope Francis on the World Day of Peace, participating in an inter-religious service held in Geneva with other religious leaders representing Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist communities in Switzerland. Read more

Egypt’s Anglicans are hopeful despite their recent experience of tough times. Read more

Pope Francis and his Argentinean friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka share a dream that they might soon pray together in the Holy Land. Pope Francis has also won the praise of Jewish groups for deciding to open the Vatican archives to investigate the actions of his predecessor, Pius XII, during the Holocaust.

Twenty-one Muslim and Christian groups came together recently in San Antonio, Texas to learn about a little-known story of the Fifth Crusade in 1219 in which St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malek Al-Kamil engaged in dialogue which eventually led to peace. Read more    If you would like to order the DVD click here    Some resources to use with the DVD can be found here