Pope Francis meets top Egyptian cleric at Vatican, ending five-year freeze in relations

sunniPope Francis has met the grand imam of Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, looking to heal Vatican relations with the influential centre of Sunni Muslim learning after dialogue was frozen five years ago. The 1,000-year-old mosque and university centre cut contacts with the Vatican in 2011 over what it said were repeated insults towards Islam from Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict.

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Sacred Earth, 2016

sacred earthLast December, representatives of 196 nations did something they’d never before been able to accomplish before. Gathered in Paris, they reached an international agreement on climate change. Together our faith communities were at the heart of making this happen. But there is still more to do. Sacred Earth is a worldwide spiritual event taking place on Jun 12, 2016. This event spans many faith traditions.

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Holy See to United Nations: Religious Authorities Have to Be the Leaders in Stopping Terrorism

levantThe Permanant Observer of the Vatican to the United Nations gives account of recent terrorism and the role of religious leaders in countering terrorism. The recent Marrakesh Declaration is cited as example of efforts by religious leaders to repudiate, refute and rebut erroneous presentations of religious teachings which seek to recuit those symapthetic to false interpretations of religious teachings.

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Vatican to Buddhists: We Agree ‘Eco-Crisis’ Is an ‘Ego-Crisis’

ego-crisisThe Vatican has sent a message for the Buddhist Feast of Vesakh (Wesak), saying both religions recognize that the ‘eco-crisis’ is an ‘ego-crisis.’ Vesakh is the most important holiday for Buddhists, for it commemorates the principal events of the life of Buddha, and is celebrated on different dates, according to different traditions, in the various countries of Buddhist culture. This year, the festival is celebrated in some countries on May 14, while in others between 20 and 21 May.

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Christian-Muslim Dialogue Group Offers 8 Joint Proposals

vaticanoThe Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies of Amman, Jordan, held their fourth colloquium in Rome last week.
The theme chosen was “Shared values in social and political life: Christian and Muslim perspectives.” The colloquium expressed, “We share beliefs and moral values. Our commonalities are much more than our particularities, and they constitute a solid basis for peacefully and fruitfully living together, also with persons of good will who do not profess a particular religion

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China’s Xi warns of foreign infiltration through religion

chin-removeChina must be on guard against foreign infiltration through religion and stop “extremists” spreading their ideology, President Xi Jinping told a top-level meeting on managing religion, state media reported on Sunday. China must also manage the Internet to promote the Communist Party’s religious theories and policies, the official Xinhua news agency cited Xi as saying.

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Bangladesh: Religious leaders vow to fight extremism with harmony

bangla
Leaders of four major religions have vowed to unite and promote religious harmony as part of efforts to combat a sharp rise in religious extremism and militancy in Bangladesh. The pledge came at an interfaith conference organized by Bangladesh police in Dhaka on April 28. The gathering brought together about 1,500 people, mostly leaders from Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist communities.

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