Untold story of brutal rise of militant Buddhism: ‘It is our duty to fight’

Monks in Sri LankaGINTOTA, Sri Lanka: The Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot. But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he continued his tirade: Muslims were violent, he said, Muslims were rapacious.

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The photograph of a drowned Salvadoran migrant and his daughter provoked a global outcry. That’s not enough

Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughterOn the morning of 17 January 2018 a humanitarian group, No More Deaths, released a report showing how, over four years, US border patrol agents had destroyed 3,856 gallons of water that had been left for migrants in the desert.That afternoon, Scott Warren, a No More Deaths volunteer, was arrested for bringing food, water, bedding and clean clothes to two men who had entered the country illegally. He found them in an area where 32 bodies had been recovered in the previous year alone. Charged with conspiracy to transport and harbour migrants, he faced up to 20 years in prison. Earlier this month his trial ended in a hung jury.

Read more…The photograph of a drowned Salvadoran migrant and his daughter provoked a global outcry. That’s not enough

Buddhist memorial service to be held at Fort Sill protest against migrant detention on July 20

Protesters at Fort SillA Buddhist memorial service coordinated by Soto Zen Buddhist priest Duncan Ryuken Williams will be held at a protest against migrant detention at Fort Sill in Oklahoma on Saturday, July 20.

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Peace forum: “there must be no more war on the Korean Peninsula”

Participants of the Ecumenical Forum on Korean peninsula in Bangkok. Photo: NCCK

An Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula, held 10-12 July in Bangkok, has issued a communique that reiterates calls for peace and outlines possible steps toward renewed dialogue.

The forum drew 46 participants from 11 countries, including delegations from the Korean Christian Federation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and from the National Council of Churches in the Republic of Korea.

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Office of the Dalai Lama issues clarification on Dalai Lama’s controversial remarks on immigrants and female successor

XIV Dalai LamaIn a new interview, the Dalai Lama said Trump lacks moral principle, refugees should ultimately return to their homeland, and any future female Dalai Lama should be attractive.

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WCC trains students for interreligious dialogue

Interreligious Studies at Bossey Institute

Young students from all over the world were welcomed to the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland on Tuesday for the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Interreligious Studies.

The theme of the 2018/2019 academic year is “Engaging for just and participatory societies – belongingness in Judaism, Christianity and Islam”. The distance learning component of the course started three weeks ago. It brings together students from the three Abrahamic religions to learn more about each other’s religions and enhance their understanding of today’s multicultural society.

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WCC, IJCIC agree to restore formal relations, strengthen communication

WCC Staff with IJCCThe World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC ) have met formally on 25-27 June in Paris. This meeting, under the theme “The normalization of hatred: challenges for Jews and Christians today,” took place at a time of challenges both to religious life in general and to each of our communities in their various contexts,” reads a communiqué released by the two groups.

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Religious and worldview studies in schools can help strengthen social cohesion

Social Cohesion MindmapSINGAPORE – Having a religious studies curriculum in schools can bolster social cohesion, by helping young people develop a positive outlook of those from other faiths, experts said at an interfaith conference in Singapore on Friday (June 21).

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Religion as an instrument of peace: the ‘Asian perspective’ on dialogue

Participants in the Interreligious Dialogue: the Asian PerspectiveVatican City (AsiaNews) – An international conference on ‘Interreligious Dialogue: the Asian Perspective’ was held this morning in the John Paul II auditorium of the Pontifical Urbaniana University. The event follows an initiative by Asian ambassadors to the Holy See to promote mutual understanding and tolerance among religions.

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Pope Francis Meets Hong Kong’s Colloquium of Six Religious Leaders

Pope Francis with religious leaders from Hong KongThe leaders of 6 religions in Hong Kong are in Rome this week to mark the 40th anniversary of an organization dedicated to improving interreligious ties. Pope Francis met the “Colloquium of Six Religious Leaders of Hong Kong” briefly on the sidelines of his Wednesday General Audience. He told them: “Upon all of you I invoke joy and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!”

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