USCIRF: New Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) welcomes the confirmation today by the Senate of a new Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. The White House nominated Governor Sam Brownback, who served in the Senate from 1996-2011, for the position in July of last year.

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10,000 Washington State Peace Officers Learn About Sikh Americans

Law enforcement officers in Washington state now have access to SALDEF’s Sikh American cultural awareness training materials. Working in partnership with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC), SALDEF materials, including our On Common Ground DVD, a first- of-its- kind training video on Sikh American cultural awareness for law enforcement, will be accessible to about 265 law enforcement agencies and 10,000 peace officers in the state.

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World Council of Churches to co-host public event on migration and displacement at UN

Why do people move? When their movement is forced, how should this be addressed? How can nations and faith-based organizations work together to mitigate the causes of forced migration and protect individuals who are forced to flee? What are the national and international legal architectures that need to be constructed to prevent a repeat of our recent failures as nations and organizations to protect and provide for migrants? What risks and rights challenges do migrants face in transit and in destination countries? What are the social costs of migration? And what is the benefit of host nations receiving migrants?

These are some of the questions to be approached by the Fourth Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs, to be held at the United Nations headquarters, in New York, on 22 January. This event will be available online via live streaming.

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Western Papua: Papuan religious leaders hold interfaith prayer for peaceful elections

Eighty-seven religious clerics from all over Papua – Papua Interfaith Communication Forum (FKUB) – held on Thursday a joint prayer, after which they began a 30-hour fast in order to ensure a peaceful atmosphere in the province for the upcoming regional elections.

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Practical Dimensions of Interfaith Dialogue

Interfaith dialogue should be relevant to the context of religious plurality that characterises today’s world. It should address the problems, conflicts, and tensions that threaten the harmonious and peaceful coexistence, in an effort to prevent the exploitation of religious sentiments in exacerbating division. In this wise, there are many practical activities which may be taken up as a fruit of interfaith dialogue.

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155th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902 C.E.) was a Hindu monk and a patriotic saint of India. According to English calendar he was born on 12th January 1863 into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta. However his birthday is celebrated according to Hindu calendar and this day is known as Swami Vivekananda Jayanti. The Indian government has decided to observe Swami Vivekananda’s Gregorian date of birth as National Youth Day. Hence National Youth Day of India is celebrated each year on 12th January since 1985.

Vivekananda was born on Krishna Paksha Saptami after seven days of Paush Purnima. The birth anniversary according to Indian Panchang for 2018 is 8 January. In 1893 Swami Vivekananda went to the United States to join the Parliament of the World’s Religions where he got overwhelming success and public attention. For next four years, from 1893 to 1897, he travelled through various cities of the United States and England, and gave a series of lectures on religion and Vedanta. He came back to India in 1897 via Colombo. He then gave 17 lectures, Lectures from Colombo to Almora. In honour of Swami Vivekananda’s birthday, we bring you the first lecture, given at Colombo, January 16, 1897.

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