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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Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development

unlogoThe High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place on Thursday, 21 April 2016, at UN Headquarters in New York. Following opening keynote speeches, plenary convened throughout the day for national statements on the theme “Action at All Levels: National Implementation.” In the morning, two panels took place on the theme “Financing poverty eradication and sustainable development,” addressing successful frameworks and strategies for financing SDGs and the paradigm shift towards low carbon societies, and enhancing international cooperation in tax and financial matters.

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Only a ‘better idea’ can cure the symptoms of extremism

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Extremism’ is on everyone’s lips and every newspaper’s front page. It is viewed by many as public enemy number one. The rise of ‘religious’ terrorism has provoked new and sometimes no less extremist responses from those who feel threatened. Moderate majorities are being labelled as ‘extremists’ simply because they share the religion of violent minorities. Division and polarization are growing by the hour and threatening a new global chaos.

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Parliament of Worlds Religions Condemns Easter Sunday Attack on Pakistani Christian Minority

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The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions condemns the Easter Sunday attack on the Pakistani Christian minority. The Council’s Board stands with innocent civilian victims of worldwide extremism and promotes the Marrakesh Declaration, Interfaith Harmony as practical means to dismantle global terrorism.

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