(August 5, 2019 | Chittagong, Bangladesh) As the political impasse between Bangladesh and Myanmar over the Rohingya crisis deepens and tensions between local communities and Rohingya refugees are escalating, over 70 Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian leaders, women of faith and youth leaders in Bangladesh convened a National Consultation for the RfP 10th World Assembly in Chittagong, Bangladesh on 3 August 2019.
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.
SINGAPORE – 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).
Vatican 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.
SINGAPORE: Representative bodies of Singapore’s key religious communities have affirmed their commitment to safeguard religious harmony in the country. More than 250 organisations have put their names to the commitment, including the Catholic Archdiocese, Hindu Advisory Board, Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, National Council of Churches of Singapore, Sikh Advisory Board, Singapore Buddhist Federation, and Taoist Federation.
Yangon, Myanmar – A court in Myanmar has issued an arrest warrant against Wirathu, a notorious Buddhist monk whose hate-preaching sermons against the Rohingya and other minority Muslims have stoked religious tensions.
The monk, who once reportedly dubbed himself the “Burmese bin Laden”, faces up to life imprisonment under the country’s sedition law, which prohibits stirring up “hatred”, “contempt” or “disaffection” towards the government.
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.
As part of the European Union-funded project “Southeast Asia: Advancing Inter-Religious Dialogue and Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB)”, The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers is seeking peace action-orientated Interfaith Fellows to advance a growing body of interfaith peacebuilding work in South and Southeast Asia. The project is being implemented in consortium with Finn Church Aid, Sathirakoses Nagapradipa Foundation, World Faiths Development Dialogue, Islamic Relief Worldwide and World Conference of Religions for Peace.
(8 May 2019 | Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar) As the increased level of armed conflict in Rakhine State endangers the prospect of peace and further stalls the return of refugees from across the border with repercussions for the nationwide peace process, Religions for Peace (RfP) convened the Second Advisory Forum on National Reconciliation and Peace in Myanmar. The Religions for Peace Advisory Forum brought together over 200 representatives of religious organizations, Myanmar government and the military, parliament, ethnic organizations, foreign governments, UN agencies, international and national NGOs and civil society groups in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 7-8 May 2019.
Cambodia and Thailand yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on strengthening the management of the repatriation and reintegration of human trafficking victims.