Vatican, World Council of Churches – Annual Meeting on Inter-religious Dialogue

radio(Vatican City) The annual meeting between the officials of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) and the staff of the Office for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation (IRDC) of the World Council of Churches (WCC), took place from 3 to 4 February in Geneva, Switzerland. Appropriately this was during Interfaith Harmony Week.

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USCIRF Letter to Secretary Kerry Urging Humanitarian Parole for Bangladeshi Writers

300px-USCIRF-Logo.svg_Since 2013, a number of secularist writers, bloggers and publishers in Bangladesh have been killed or seriously injured in attacks perpetrated by Islamist extremists. The attacks have taken place at a time of growing tension between Bangladeshi secularists, who want the country to maintain its secularist tradition of separation of religion and state, and Islamists, who want an Islamic state. The US Commission has written to the Secretary of State seeking Humanitarian Parole for Bangladeshi Writers.

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India: Muslim University opens Centre for Interfaith Understanding

aligarhAIGARH: To mark the bicentenary celebrations of the birth of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in 2017, Aligarh Muslim University has opened Centre for Interfaith Understanding to foster a culture of liberal views and tolerance. The centre was inaugurated on Republic Day at Sir Syed Academy in the university.

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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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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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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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Pope Francis speaks on World Communications Day

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Pope Francis gave an address on World Communications Day, and connected this observance to the Year of Mercy. Pope Francis told, ” I would like to encourage everyone to see society not as a forum where strangers compete and try to come out on top, but above all as a home or a family, where the door is always open and where everyone feels welcome.”

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Vatican Official Addresses 1st Arab Thinkers Forum


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(Vatican Radio) Father Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, was speaking at the First Arab Thinkers Forum at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi. He said “to counter extremism we have to commit ourselves to a sincere dialogue.”

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