INTERFAITH NEWS FROM 2013....

The Delhi police today cane-charged and water-cannoned Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi, and several others protesting against a 1950 Presidential Order which Muslim and Christian leaders say denies equal rights and discriminates against people on the basis of faith. Read more

Representatives of seven faiths joined with community leaders and local residents at a service for the International Day of Peace at the Baha’i Temple in Sydney. Read more

In an action reminiscent of Pope Francis, Iranian dissident Mohammad Nourizad has kissed the feet of a 4-year-old Baha'i boy whose parents are in jail because of their faith. His action is particularly significant in the light of the belief in some quarters in Iran that Baha’is are ritually unclean.   

The 9th World Assembly of Religions for Peace concluded in Vienna, Austria on 22 November 2013 with participants signing off on the Vienna Declaration: “Welcoming the Other—A Multi-­Religious Vision of Peace”. To visit the online archive of all assembly highlights click here

The newly established King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) has hosted around 800 key figures from the worlds of religion and education at a conference  in Vienna. Read more

Women and Youth leaders have discussed how they can welcome the other by advancing human dignity, shared well-being and a more robust notion of citizenship as they prepare for the 9th World Assembly of Religions for Peace beginning in Vienna on 20th November 2013. Read more

The Patriarch of the Buddhist Jogye Order, the venerable Jinje, has made a courtesy visit to the the tombs of five lay martyrs who were "founders" of the Catholic Church in Korea. The visit is an interreligious courtesy call to dampen the tensions that arose in 2011 between the Order and the South Korean Christians. Read more

The Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims & Jews has held its 36th meeting, at The Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra, Sydney.  Read more

Professor and scholar Rev. Dr Allison Stokes, Ph.D. will be speaking on Feminist Pioneers in Inter-Religious Leadership, Scholarship and Service between 1848 and 1893 at the anniversary of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, 16 November 2013 in Chicago, USA.  Read an excerpt of her work here

The Vatican has sent a message to Hindus as they celebrate the Feast of Deepavali. The message states “Regardless of our ethnic, cultural, religious and ideological differences, all of us belong to the one human family." Read more

“Peace in the Middle East” was the theme at the annual interfaith meeting of Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders in Assisi in commemoration of John Paul II’s visit in 1986. Read more    

A delegation of Jewish leaders from Simon Wiesenthal Center Los Angeles, on a visit to the Vatican, are "electrified" by Pope Francis. Read more

Muslim leaders have condemned the attack on a Cairo Church which killed a young girl. Read more

The Catholic lay community of St Egidio held its annual international, interfaith meeting in Rome from September 29th to October 1st with the theme ‘The Courage to Hope.  Two participants on the panel “Religions Respond to Violence against Women” were Katherine Marshall from Georgetown University and Rabbi David Rosen. Read more

American Muslim leader, Syrian-born Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat, speaks about the importance of supporting the religious integration of migrants across the world, in order to prevent extremism and fanaticism. Read more

Pakistani Christian and Muslim leaders have condemned the attack on a Protestant church. Read more

Christians and Muslims in many parts of the world have joined in prayer for peace in Syria. Read more

Calling for a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria on September 7, Pope Francis  has said that neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue. Read more

Dialogue and negotiations are "the only option for putting an end to the conflict and violence" in Syria, said Pope Francis and Jordan's King Abdullah II.  Read more

Christians have come to the defence of Al Azhar, the prestigious Islamic university.  Read more

Faith leaders call for transformation of religious communities that exclude the leadership of women. Read more

Muslims protect a Christian church in Egypt. Read more  

English and Welsh bishops welcome Pope’s Ramadan message.  Read more

Vatican Radio reports that Christians in Egypt are hopeful for the future.  Read more

The Vatican has published a message from Pope Francis to the world's Muslims for the conclusion of Ramadan. Read it here

Egyptian-American physicist and businessman, Maged Atiya, critically analyzes events taking place in Egypt in his blog http://salamamoussa.com/  Read more

A coalition of Buddhist and Muslim leaders met in Bangkok in June 2013 to commit to act cooperatively with new proposals to stabilize inter-religious relations in their region. Read more. The International Buddhist-Muslim Joint Statement.  

Cardinal Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, will take part in interreligious activities in London in the wake of the killing of British soldier lee Rigby. Read more

Religious leaders come together in Brussels to tackle religious and racial discrimination in ‎Europe – both religious leaders and governments  need to do more to encourage social integration. Read more

On 9 June 2013 the Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies in Cairo (IDEO) celebrated its 60th anniversary. Guests of honour at the Institute included Pope Tawadros II, Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and Ahmad el-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar. Read more

The former papal nuncio to Egypt, Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, looks at the origins of the Arab Spring and how the Christian leaders responded to it in Egypt and elsewhere. Read more

Vatican Radio reports on how an Egyptian Sheikh is saving tortured refugees, many of whom are Christian, in the Sinai. Read more

Zafar Siddiqui asserts that with Pope Francis a new chapter has opened up in Christian-Muslim relations. Read more

Inner Peace, Peace Among Peoples' was the theme of the fourth Buddhist-Christian Colloquium held at the Pontifical Urbaniana University, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Read more

Interfaith in action: A group of nearly 100 young representatives from over a dozen local religious communities met on Saturday, February 9th, 2013, for the first-ever DC Young Adult Faith Leaders Summit.  See http://www.faithinactiondc.com/  Also, 25 religious leaders came together with the goal of promoting civil discourse.  The nonpartisan Faith and Politics Institute sponsored a two-day conversation among faith groups, "Faith, Politics and Our Better Angels: A Christian Dialogue to Promote Civility." Read more

Jamila Hussein reflects on being a part of a group of eighteen Christians and Muslims who toured together to Istanbul and Rome to learn more about each others’ faith experience.  Read more

Anti-Semitism is in contradiction to the true spirit of Christianity”, Pope Francis tells visiting President of Israel, Shimon Peres, at the Vatican. Read more

The courage of a Polish grandmother who risked her life to save her Jewish neighbour has been remembered at the 22nd Sho’ah Memorial Service in St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney. Read more

The Council of Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE) is meeting in May to discuss Christian-Muslim relations with a focus on the religious identity of young Christians and Muslims in Europe. Read more

One of Pope Francis’s early requests was for the Catholic Church to intensify dialogue with Islam. The host of a Muslim weekly cable-television show says it is an invitation he believes Muslims are eager to embrace. Read more

Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee and former Chief Rabbi of Ireland reflects on how his involvement in interfaith dialogue led him to realize he needed to deepen his own faith in order to be able to truly represent his heritage to the other. Read more

The election of Pope Francis has stimulated greater collaboration between Muslims, Jews and Christians in local service projects in one area of the United States. Read more

Following the signing of a peace deal between the Philippines government and the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) group in 2012, a transition body has been formed to develop a “Basic Law” to guide the establishment of a new Muslim region in Mindanao. Read more

Bosnian Muslim leader Mustafa Ceric has welcomed the election of Pope Francis and outlines three areas of common human concern he believes will be important for both Muslims and Christians. Read more

As Christians celebrate Easter, religious leaders of other faiths in Sydney reflect on what we have in common. Read more

Pope Francis has sent greetings to the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo di Segni, and Rome’s Jewish community, to mark the feast of Passover, beginning at sundown on March 25th. Read more

The Golden Rule - treat others as you would like them to treat you - has been valued by human societies for thousands of years. A poster is now available from St Columbans Mission Society which includes sacred texts from 13 different religions and promotes mutual respect and harmony in our multi-religious society. It is available in various sizes and is suitable for homes, schools, or offices. To learn more and to order click here

Pope Francis has promised friendship, respect and continued dialogue with other religious leaders, acknowledging all men and women who are “in search of truth, goodness, and beauty” who are our “precious allies” in defending human dignity and carefully protecting creation. Read more

In the past year there has been a political shift with faith leaders and activists from a variety of religious backgrounds  organizing to meet the challenges of poverty, climate change, and voter disenfranchisement, among other issues. The Center for American Progress’s Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative has compiled a list of 13 progressive faith leaders. Read more

The Council of the World Parliament of Religions has welcomed the election of Pope Francis whose name has a special significance for interreligious relations. Francis of Asissi visited Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil at Damietta in Egypt during the Fifth Crusade, seeking peace in a time of conflict. Pope Francis has also co-authored a book with Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka. Read more

John T. Pawlikowski, Professor of Social Ethics at the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, has outlined some challenges facing the new pope in moving forward the Catholic churches commitment to interfaith dialogue. Read more

During his time as pope, Benedict XVI's understanding of interreligious dialogue evolved from suspicion to the recognition of both its urgency at the present time and its rich theological meaning for all participants, writes Canadian theologian Gregory Baum. Yet others, such as Tariq Ramadan, believe Benedict was "tone-deaf" when it came to interfaith dialogue.

An alliance of organizations and individuals from across New South Wales have come together to re-affirm in a joint statement their support of the state’s multicultural and multi-faith community in response to a visit to Australia by Dutch MP and anti-Islamic campaigner Geert Wilders.

The Women’s Task Force of the Council for the Parliament of the Worlds Religions is  participating in the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, 4-6 March in New York. Read more

It has been observed that debate about freedom of conscience and the question of “change of religion” is becoming a daily occurrence in the Muslim world. Read more

For Youssef Sidhom, Editor of Watani, Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox weekly newspaper, the important challenge for Christians and moderate Muslims in the run up to new elections is to construct a strong opposition to save Egypt from drifting towards an Islamic state. Read more

Responding to recommendations contained in the Semarang Plan of Action which emerged from the sixth Asia Pacific Regional Interfaith Dialogue (RID-6) held in Semarang, Indonesia in March 2012, the governments of the Asia Pacific region have sponsored a forum of Future Faith Leaders of the region in Indonesia. Read the report on the forum here

One hundred and twenty years after the first World Parliament of Religions held in 1893 the groundbreaking contributions of the women who participated are remembered. Read Part One and Part Two

The women’s interfaith group, S.A.R.A.H (Spiritual and Religious Alliance for Hope), for whom “dialogue is important, while action is essential”, has celebrated its 10th anniversary. Read more