Pluralism and the Najran Christians: How Prophet Muhammad Went Beyond Tolerance

When the Christians of Najran arrived to Medina, Muhammad allowed them to pray in Nabawi mosque where the Muslims also prayed. This invitation was not only the first example of Christian-Muslim dialogue, but it was the first time that Christians prayed in a mosque. While Prophet Muhammad and the Najrans were not able to reach common ground on all theological issues, he nonetheless gave them a place to stay near his home, and even ordered Muslims to pitch their tent.

Read more…

Islamic State’s Influence spreads across Asia


Pakistan civil society activists light candles outside the French consulate in Karachi on Nov. 15, as they condemned the deadly attacks in Paris. (Photo by AFP)

While the detention of eight suspected members of the group that calls itself the Islamic State in Malaysia on Jan. 22, following the deadly bomb attacks in Jakarta earlier this month, confirmed the arrival of the terrorist group in Southeast Asia, it had already been murderously active in the South Asian countries of Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Read more…

The Year of Mercy is a time to learn about Islam


Muslim pilgrims pray atop Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat Oct. 3, 2014, during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Dec. 8 marks the opening of the Jubilee of Mercy, a yearlong celebration of God’s compassion. Pope Francis, who has made mercy the motto of his papacy, hopes that this year will be “a true moment of encounter with the mercy of God.” One way Catholics can become better acquainted with this divine mercy is by more deliberately encountering another religion that takes God’s mercy as its central focus: Islam.

Read more…

Birthday of Swami Vivekananda

If India were to have patron saints, then perhaps we might say that Swami Vivekananda is the patron saint – or guru – of Inter-religious encounter, or perhaps, in the modern terminology, patron saint of Interfaith Dialogue, for he travelled to the Americas and participated in the inaugural Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893. We bring you excerpts from his speech on this occasion of the Birthday of Swami Vivekananda. (Vivekananda Jayanti)

Read more…

Oceania Faith Agencies at the Climate Change Conference


Deal with it! People, Rights, Justice is the title of the Side Event to be presented at the Paris Climate Change Event on Monday, 7 December. Presenters include Caritas International, Friends of the Earth International and the German Catholic Bishops Development Agency. Pope Francis’ encylical Laudato Si is a foundational document for this session. One key focus of this side event is responses by faith agencies in Oceania to Climate Change.

Read more…

Grand Mufti of Egypt on the Paris attacks



I was as shocked as any sensible human being would have been when I learned about the senseless, heinous, appalling and cowardly act that took place in Paris at the weekend . This attack is shocking, and offends the conscience of every sane person, regardless of their religious identity. I wish to stress categorically and unequivocally our complete solidarity and unwavering support for the French people in their plight and their determination to combat terror

Read more…