Father Jacques Mourad, priest held hostage by Islamic State, reflects on what he learned

Father Jacques Mourad. Photo: Grégoire de Fombelle/WCC


Father Jacques Mourad is a monk and priest of the community of Mar Moussa in Syria. He is very active in Islamic-Christian dialogue and belongs to the diocese of Homs of the Syriac Catholic Church. In 2015, he was captured and held hostage by the Islamic State, before escaping with the help of Muslims.

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From smiling at strangers to feeding those in need: What different faiths say about kindness

Logo with multiple religions


From acts of charity to compassionate thoughts, kindness takes many forms in the lives of these believers. Here, ABC Life talks to believers from several different faiths about practicing kindness.

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The 1st iDove Intercontinental Youth Forum in Southeast Asia

African Union Logo


The African Union will hold an interfaith forum in Jakarta 4-6 December 2019 – and there is a call for applications from youth in South East Asian nations to participate.

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UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites

United Nations Alliance of Civilisations Logo

United Nations Alliance of Civilisations LogoAmidst a global call by Secretary-General António Guterres to “reaffirm the sanctity” of religious sites and keep worshippers safe, the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) on 12 September 2019 launched a new plan of action to “counter hate and violence around the globe”. The plan outlines a wide array of recommendations, such as for the UN to develop a global communications campaign to foster mutual respect and understanding; for States to create multi-disciplinary national plans anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to prevent violent extremism; and for religious leaders to regularly engage in interfaith dialogue.

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‘Life-changing experience’: Ten Aussie Muslim schoolgirls tackle the Kokoda Track

Students at Kokoda Track

The famous Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea had some special guests in June this year, as a group of Muslim-Australian schoolgirls from Melbourne’s North walked the trail. Gokhan Ozkan, Pastoral Care Director at Sirius College in Broadmeadows accompanied the girls and says “it was a life-changing experience for the girls.”

Most Sirius College students are Muslim but the school is a mixed-gender, non-denominational independent school. The ten girls from nine to 11 years and six staff, traveled to PNG in late June and completed the 96-kilometre trail in eight days.

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Golden Rule Day

Golden Rule Day image

Golden Rule Day imageThe Golden Rule is ancient and modern, secular and religious, personal and common. Golden Rule Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on and celebrate the universal principle of treating others the way that we want to be treated. It is a powerful tool for all of our relationships – with ourselves, others, animals, and the planet.

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New survey reveals which religions New Zealanders trust most – and least – after Christchurch shootings

al-noor mosque Christchurch

al-noor mosque Christchurch

In a survey of 1000 New Zealanders, taken a month after the Christchurch mosque shootings of 15 March 2019, respondents were asked how much they trusted people from different religious groups living in New Zealand.

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An inside look at interreligious reconciliation

Rabbi David Rosen with Pope Francis

Rabbi David RosenRabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee (AJC), has been advancing understanding and good relations between religious communities for more than 40 years. He has been involved in this area from the time he served as rabbi of the largest Orthodox Jewish congregation in South Africa, during his tenure as chief rabbi of Ireland and throughout more than 30 years based in Jerusalem.

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