Mabda Report 18/03/12

Asia-Pacific interfaith talks yield Semarang Plan of Action

The five-day Asia-Pacific interfaith dialogue forum held in Semarang, Central Java, officially closed on Thursday, having produced an agreement dubbed the Semarang Plan of Action, which underlines the urgent need for participating countries to take concrete action to solve issues of tolerance and pluralism.

The plan of action basically highlights the common views shared by the 13 participating countries within the Asia-Pacific region on five aspects, namely the involvement of leaders of religious communities, civil society, youth, education and media and communication in the dialogue process.

Denying the Individuality of Minority Members

At a recent conference in Germany looking at radical critics of Islam, there was consensus that it was about time that politicians and society looked more seriously at the growing defamation of Muslims.

For a long time, nobody took hate propaganda against Muslims very seriously as a serious threat to democracy. That has changed, following the massacre in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik and the series of murders by the Zwickau NSU terrorist cell in Germany.

Service initiatives created for White House challenge

With half a year behind them, Penn’s religious organizations are preparing for the second leg of this year’s White House Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge.

The challenge began as a recommendation by a White House Faith Advisory Council for ways President Barack Obama could use his office to promote faith issues, said Mary Ellen Giess, director of campus partnerships for Interfaith Youth Core.

IFYC, an “active partner” in the creation of the challenge, hopes this kind of national accreditation will move interfaith cooperation “from a niche to the norm,” Giess said.

Saint Leo, one of the Oldest Catholic Universities in Florida, Holds Interfaith Panel on Religion in America

According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, the religious climate in the United States is changing. Exactly how these changes could impact society is one of the questions to be explored at Saint Leo University, March 20 at 2 p.m. As one of the oldest Catholic universities in Florida, Saint Leo has a history of promoting interfaith dialogue. This panel discussion, “Religion and the Challenge of America: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” is free and open to the public.