GINTOTA, 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.
The World Council of Churches Executive Committee issued a statement on 23 May expressing concern and solidarity for the people of West Papua who are facing violence and human rights violations.
In February of 2019, 23 members of an ecumenical Pilgrim Team visited four separate locations in West Papua in what is believed to be the first time that such a large and diverse international delegation has visited the territory since its integration into Indonesia in 1969. Observations by the Pilgrim Team indicate persistently high levels of violence and human rights violations, including recently in the Nduga Regency resulting in the displacement of many people from remote communities in this Highlands Region.
Interfaith dialogue is a necessity in our age. In a world suffering from armed conflicts, diplomatic standoffs and trade wars, cooperative and constructive interaction between people of different religious traditions is fundamental to solidifying peace and stability, and stemming racism, xenophobia, radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism.
Indonesia took a much praised step toward religious tolerance last year by allowing its citizens to list native faiths beyond the six officially recognized religions on their identity cards.
China’s inroads in Nepal mean increasing control over Buddhist heritage sites – with implications for Tibet.
Firefighters tackle the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame Cathedral as it burns in Paris on April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
The United Nations Task Force on Engaging Faith-based Actors recently released its annual report.
Dharamshala: The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, said on Monday it was possible that once he dies his incarnation could be found in India, where he has lived in exile for 60 years, and warned that any other successor named by China would not be respected.
“That which is said by the Pope is taken very seriously not just by the Catholic community, but taken seriously by all of us,” says Lord Nicholas Henry Bourne of Aberystwyth, UK Minister for Faith.
Climate change and conflict have left the river Jordan a stagnant stream and the Sea of Galilee critically low