Singapore: Religious heads work to build trust, maintain harmony

jakartaisJust two hours after the Jakarta blasts, about 30 religious and community leaders of the Braddell Heights’ Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle received information about what was happening on the ground there. They were also asked by the authorities to look out for reactions in their communities.

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The World Interfaith Harmony Week – Annual UN Observance Week: Feb. 1-7

2016wihwThe World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010 by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan. Just under a month later, on October 20, 2010, it was unanimously adopted by the UN and henceforth the first week of February will be observed as a World Interfaith Harmony Week.

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Church ban call in Confucius’ birthplace stokes debate

zhongxianA Confucian scholar in Qufu, the Chinese sage’s birthplace, has provoked accusations of religious exclusion after calling for Christian churches to be banned from the town. Zeng Zhenyu, a political adviser in Qufu, Shandong province, complained of plans to turn a temporary Protestant church into a permanent structure accommodating 3,000 worshipers after the Chinese New Year in February.

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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.

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Muslims Advance Consensus for Citizenship for All:

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(MARRAKESH, 27 January 2016) — At the invitation of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, 250 of the world’s eminent Islamic leaders convened to discuss the rights of religious minorities and the obligation to protect them in Muslim majority states.

This position has historic roots dating to the time of Prophet Mohammed and the Medina Charter. Today’s Declaration was issued at a time of heightened social hostility fueled by violent extremism, widespread Islamophobia and the denial of rights, sometimes justified by misrepresentations of Islamic teachings.

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Singapore: Religious leaders call for more inter-faith dialogues

singpura-dialogueAs Singaporeans become more religious, there are concerns that some segments of society are becoming more distant from others. One strong antidote to this exclusive tendency, religious leaders said, lies in their followers reflecting on what their respective religions teach. This is crucial, they added yesterday at a conference on building inter-faith relations.

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Americans may be getting less religious, but feelings of spirituality are on the rise

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The phrase “spiritual but not religious” has become widely used in recent years by some Americans who are trying to describe their religious identity. While Pew Research Center does not categorize survey respondents in such a way, our surveys do find that the U.S. public overall appears to be growing a bit less religious – but also somewhat more spiritual.

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Indonesian religious leaders decry attack on Muslim sect

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Religious leaders denounced the recent the violent eviction of hundreds of members of an illegal organization. On Jan. 19, a mob burned down nine houses belonging to members of the Fajar Nusantara Movement, known as Gafatar, in Moton Panjang village of Mempawah district in West Kalimantan province. Previously, local residents issued an ultimatum forcing all Gafatar members to leave the district

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