Mabda Report 26/11/12

Action for Reconciliation in Nigeria

Tony Blair, Bishop Justin Welby, and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad launch a major new programme of Faith Foundation-led work in Nigeria to encourage reconciliation between Christian and Muslim communities.

The country has seen deep divisions and tensions between these communities in recent times, caused by the challenges of poverty and barriers of ethnicity, class and religion.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation will embark on a plan of action with local Christian and Muslim faith leaders and young people.

These leaders and young people will work together, as well as with the Foundation, to build sustainable co-existence through joint leadership, education and action on shared challenges, such as preventing deaths from malaria.

To demonstrate the nature of the work, Blair, Bishop Welby, and Prince Ghazi took part in a Faith Foundation-run video conference between Muslim and Christian students to encourage greater dialogue and understanding between the faiths. This aimed to break down barriers, and give the students the knowledge to resist extremist voices and ideology - working towards longer term peace for Nigeria.

Saudi Interfaith Center Opens In Vienna

Next Monday, a pioneering Saudi-backed center for worldwide interfaith dialogue will open in a baroque palace on Vienna's elegant Ringstrasse boulevard. Riyadh paid for the building and will foot the centre's budget for the first three years.

Such largesse from a country often ranked as one of the most religiously repressive has stirred suspicion and protest in Vienna, where critics accuse the Saudis of everything from hypocrisy to plotting to spread radical Islam in the Alps.

But the center has supporters in unexpected places, most notably in Israel. Rabbi David Rosen, the Jewish member of the centre's multifaith board of directors, says it presents an opportunity the world's religions cannot let pass.

Honoring a fallen ambassador

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

(CNN) - In the weeks since Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in Benghazi, Libya, a debate has raged over the Obama administration's handling of the tragedy.

Quite apart from those pointed questions and hearings on Capitol Hill, another discussion is happening. One that got its start when Tarek El-Messidi decided to put out a call for letters of condolence:

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service held in New Providence

A significant crowd attended the annual interfaith worship service in New Providence on Monday evening, Nov. 19. A tradition which began in 2007, the Thanksgiving service occurred at Faith Lutheran Church, where Rev. Dr. Murdoch MacPherson and Rev. James Krombholz are the pastors.

The participating worship communities were Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church, Temple Sinai, Islamic Center of Basking Ridge, Summit Jewish Community Center, Bridgewater Gurudwara of Garden State Sikh Association, Union Village United Methodist Church, Baha’i Community, New Providence United Methodist Church and Faith Lutheran Church.