Dublin City Interfaith Forum

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Dublin City Interfaith Forum – A Necessary Journey

There is a dire universal need for genuine religious dialogue, mutual learning and understanding. In Ireland, not only is this need felt, but, because of the relative novelty of multi culturalism and the presence of multi–faiths there is a wonderfully fresh opportunity to address issues from the start and to craft an exemplary model for the rest of the world. There is a need to progressively reform traditional attitudes that habitually exclude non –Abrahamic faiths in national events. This model would address mutual issues across traditions and show the disillusioned sceptics that religions do indeed adhere to the same lofty human values that lead to the goal of freedom, variously termed salvation, perfection, kingdom of heaven, nirvana etc.

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A world without gender

Sister Ilia Delio, Franciscan Sister who teaches at Villanova University, Washington DC examines how
neither the church nor the academy or social/political machines can form a new matrix of gender equality.

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Dublin City Interfaith Charter – December 2016

Launch of Dublin City Interfaith Charter

The Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr launched the newly adopted Charter of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum at a reception in the Mansion House, Dawson Street, at 11.30 a.m. on Tuesday 20th December, 2016.

The Charter has been agreed and signed by representatives of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum and deals with issues including religious freedom, inter–faith dialogue and the promotion of religious diversity in the city. Having committed to this Charter, the Forum propose to agree a schedule of projects and programmes in partnership with Dublin City Council to further its aims.

Speaking about the event the Lord Mayor said “It is my pleasure to welcome representatives from the various religious bodies involved through the Dublin City Interfaith Forum with the creation of this farseeing Charter. Dublin has always enjoyed a very open attitude to different communities and cultures and this charter further reaffirms our commitment to this at a time when intolerance would appear to be more widespread among different nations.”

According to Mr. Michael O’Sullivan, Chair of the Interfaith Forum, “It is intended that the new Interfaith Charter will provide the platform for educating and encouraging people of different faiths to dialogue and act together in challenging all forms of injustice and discrimination. Echoing recent media comments from the Minister for Integration, David Stanton TD, Mr. O’Sullivan said that the Interfaith Forum is committed to work alongside other agencies to influence and support the integration process on many levels.”

Archbishop of Dublin Most Rev Dr. Michael Jackson said, “The Lord Mayor’s involvement in the Dublin City Interfaith Charter is a proactive contribution by The First Citizen to the life of the city and its communities in the areas of Faith and Culture. I commend it to everyone as a charter of respect and diversity.”

Sheikh Hussein Halawa, Chair of the Irish Council of Imams said, “The most significant contribution we can make now is to help people to live confidently with religious diversity, and to dispel fear of differences, the fear of the ‘other’. The Interfaith Charter will enable faith communities to develop better understanding, relationships of deeper respect and acceptance of each other as human beings.”

Empowerment+ Initiative: Interfaith Social Cohesion & Enterprise

London Pilot: Integration and empowerment can help those experiencing a wide range of socio–economic risks including displacement, unemployment, isolation, crime, addiction and radical extremist violence.
Integration and empowerment can help those experiencing a wide range of socio–economic risks including displacement, unemployment, isolation, crime, addiction and radical extremist violence. The Empowerment+ initiative will field interfaith teams that (1) reach out to and mentor at–risk individuals, imparting empowering skills and networks by using an empowerment+ toolkit to be used in groups, plus (2) catalyze sustainable businesses that increase integration and resiliency of non–integrated communities where problems can grows.
Because the initiative will be staffed by volunteers from groups in civil society, it will be low cost but have high impact because it has the potential to equip many of thousands of volunteers to build relationships with many more thousands of people at risk.
Volunteer teams — composed of people with business know–how and sincere spirituality from various religious traditions — will use an interfaith self–reliance Empowerment+ toolkit to bring those at risk of socio–economic failure into a wider group of people who help each other acquire the key ‘temporal’ (earthly) and spiritual skills needed to be empowered and successful in the societies where they live.
Self–reliance groups will address the underlying issues by helping those at risk replace isolation, desperation and spiritual anomie with temporal and spiritual empowerment. The spiritual power of the approach is in giving those facing problems the opportunity to constructively help others in the group process.
The Empowerment+ toolkit has 12–week multiple tracks, channeling participants to the most appropriate pathway for them. These include: Starting and Growing a Business; My Job Search; Education for Better Work. The business track may be especially attractive to those with an entrepreneurial bent. The Empowerment+ toolkit is intentionally designed to be used in a group (eliminating isolation), to provide practical results (overcoming desperation), to demonstrate acceptance (ending rejection), and to model the radical spiritual power of serving others (replacing spiritual anomie with spiritual groundedness).
For more information, contact Brian J. Grim, PhD, Visiting Professor, School of Management and Social Sciences, President, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.

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Racism, discrimination, intolerance and extremism: learning from experiences in Greece and Hungary

Racism, discrimination, intolerance and extremism: learning from experiences in Greece and Hungary
This thematic situation report examines the effectiveness of responses by public authorities, civil society organisations and others to counter racism, discrimination, intolerance and extremism in Greece and Hungary. The report goes on to make proposals for fighting racist crime, increasing trust in the police, and combating extremism throughout the EU.
Crimes motivated by racism, xenophobia and related intolerances, the mainstreaming of elements of extremist ideology in political and public discourse, and ethnic discrimination all persist throughout the European Union. Growing alarm has been expressed at the national, EU and international levels with regard to manifestations of violent racism and other forms of intolerance especially in two EU Member States: Greece and Hungary. An additional important concern is the substantial parliamentary representation of parties that use paramilitary tactics or are closely associated with paramilitary groups and use extremist rhetoric to target irregular migrants in Greece, and the Roma and Jews in Hungary.

In this context, FRA took the initiative to collect data and compile the present thematic situation report. It examines the effectiveness of responses by public authorities, statutory human rights bodies, and civil society organisations to racism, discrimination, intolerance and extremism in these two EU Member States.

Despite the fact that this report focuses on two countries, the identification of barriers to counter such phenomena is of relevance to the EU as a whole. The proposals contained in the report on issues such as tackling racist and related crime, increasing trust in the police, and countering extremism could therefore be considered for use in all EU Member States.

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APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII GAUDIUM

The Apostolic Exhortation recently delivered by Pope Francis concerning the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world has stirred interest and appreciation as a challenging and inviting document.
The Apostolic Exhortation is more than simply conveying the message of the Synod on evangelization, but addresses the need for the renewal of the church at all levels from the perspective of the call to be a missional church. It provides an inspiring interaction between ecclesiological reflections, missionary perspectives and concerns about economic, ecological justice and peace building as significant missionary dimensions of the church.

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Interfaith Seminar hears: ‘Welcoming the Stranger Strengthens Own Faith’

Last Thursday evening members of the Lutheran Church in Ireland, Dublin City Interfaith Forum, Northern Ireland Inter Faith Forum and guests participated to a seminar with the topic ‘Towards Tolerance and Acceptance’. The evening started with a warm welcome from Cllr Michael O’Sullivan, on behalf of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Oisin Quinn. His message of support was followed by an excellent performance from young actor Conor Doyle on the parable of ‘Nathan the Wise’ by Ephraim Gotthold Lessing…
Seminar slides available to download.

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2013

Once a year, Christians become aware of the great diversity of ways of worshipping God. Hearts are touched, and people realize that their neighbours’ ways are not so strange.

The event that touches off this special experience is called the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Traditionally celebrated between 18–25 January, the Week of Prayer enters into congregations and parishes all over the world. Pulpits are exchanged, and special ecumenical worship services are arranged.