Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 338

Posts Tagged ‘religious’

New Charter Seeks to Build Global Support for Tolerance and Religious Freedom

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 15 dicembre 2019

This week some of the world’s most respected Islamic scholars, joined by experts from governments, civil society groups and other faiths, will launch a new effort to build global peace, based on tolerance and religious freedom. At the sixth Assembly of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, in Abu Dhabi, Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, President of the Forum, will inaugurate the charter of the “New Alliance of Virtue”. Its text will be revealed and signed by its first signatories.The charter aims to elevate religious freedom, cooperation, and tolerance from mere possibilities to necessary ethical commitments and legal obligations, especially in relation to the protection of places of worship whose attacks have threatened freedom of religion in many parts of the world.This initiative draws direct inspiration from the earliest traditions of Islam.
The original Alliance of Virtue (hilf al-fudul) was established in early 7th century AD (late 1st century BH) Mecca, in the house of Abdullah ibn Judan.Its purpose was to defend the weak and the innocent against the rapaciousness of those more powerful.The Prophet of Islam, Mohammad, and the first of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, Abu Bakr, were both present when the Alliance was formed, though it was before Mohammad’s prophethood. He later praised it, saying: “I was present in the house of Ibn Judan when an alliance was formed, and were I to have been called upon by it in Islam, I would have answered its call.”Last February in Washington D.C., H.E. Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace, led a panel of over 200 individuals from the three Abrahamic faiths and others, comprising religious leaders and senior politicians in creating the modern Alliance of Virtue between religions.The charter of the New Alliance of Virtue follows the model of the original, on a global scale. It brings together those of good-will for the benefit of humanity, an effort across religions to enable its members to live side-by-side in peace and happiness.The charter doesn’t aim to bridge theological differences, members will instead cooperate based on a common theology of God-given human dignity, seeking virtue for the benefit of all.

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New publication: Religious Diversity in Europe and the Rights of Religious Minorities

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 9 febbraio 2019

CEC’s new publication Religious Diversity in Europe and the Rights of Religious Minorities, edited by Dr Elizabeta Kitanovic and Rev. Dr Patrick Roger Schnabel is now out! The publication, produced in partnership with contains contributions from experts brought together by CEC in Zagreb, Croatia to discuss the challenges facing minority churches, and religious minorities in general. The European landscape presents many difficulties for these communities. Some struggle with obtaining legal status, some are subject to discrimination, exclusion or even open hostility. Widespread prejudices, destruction or confiscation of property, and barriers to religious rituals and ceremonies make daily life difficult for many communities across the continent.CEC, and the participants gathered at the Zagreb conference, are convinced that minorities bring value to societies, and that deeper religious literacy, enhanced understanding, and fostering dialogue will contribute to their flourishing.Digital copies of Religious Diversity in Europe and the Rights of Religious Minorities may be downloaded from the CEC website and print copies may be ordered through our publishing partner, (by

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Religious Communities and Civil Society in Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 18 novembre 2018

Rome 22 13:00-14.00h, and 23 November 2018, 9 a.m Pontifical Gregorian University Piazza della Pilotta 4 A Brief Outline Religious Communities and Civil Society in Europe is a large-scale exploratory research project aimed at assessing the position of religious communities as potential or active civil society actors in Europe, and at looking into differences in their positioning on legal, historical, cultural, and behavioural grounds. The project is being undertaken by the Maecenata Institute, Berlin. The core research team consists of Dr. Rupert Graf Strachwitz, Director of the Institute, and Sarah Albrecht M.A.The seemingly vitalizing impact of religion and religiosity on civil society is a research topic that has been extensively looked into, not only in the USA, but increasingly also in a European context. Faith based charities have also been objects of scholarly work in the context of civil society theory and empirical studies. What still seems to be missing is an evaluation of the role of institutionalized religious communities, and of circumstances that facilitate or impede their status as civil society organisations. One assumption is that in a European context, legal relations between the state and various religious communities (minorities and majorities alike) play a crucial role in shaping the religious communities’ scope for action within the arena of civil society.
Five associates have kindly agreed to collaborate with us on determining details of content, reviewing papers, identifying experts, conducting interviews, and contributing to the final outcome. They are:
– Prof. Dr. Rocco d’Ambrosio (Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome),
– Prof. Dr. Paul Dekker (University of Tilburg, Netherlands),
– Dr. Anna Domaradzka (University of Warsaw, Poland),
– Prof. Dr. Johan von Essen (Ersta Sköndal University College, Sweden),
– Prof. Dr. Vassilios Makrides (University of Erfurt, Germany).
In addition, a number of other colleagues have agreed to act as advisors. With the associates, we have held workshops in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

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Statement on Persecution of Religious Minorities in the Middle East Region

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 9 dicembre 2014

human-rights-first-350x219.3The Conference of European Churches (CEC) expresses its concerns about very serious violations of fundamental human rights, the humanitarian crisis and the security situation in the Middle East region, especially in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. CEC deeply regrets that the situation continues to worsen. CEC urges that targeted killings, forced religious conversions, trafficking of women and children, recruiting of children for suicide bombings, the beheading of Christians and members of other religious minorities based on their religion or belief, and vandalism of religious sites, cultural heritage and places of worship must end immediately.On a daily basis, innocent lives of people belonging to religious and ethnic minorities including Christians from the ancient churches in the region, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shabak, Kaka’e, Sabian and Shia communities, moderate Muslims, Kurds are taken by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) and other extremist groups. Many Muslim religious leaders disagree with their practice of ethnic and religious “cleansing”. It is our conviction that religious pluralism is a basic principle of human rights. This most grievous situation needs a strong international and European response.CEC supports the efforts of the Middle East Council of Churches, and stands hand-in-hand with its Christian brothers and sisters, and all people of goodwill who are looking for peace solutions in the inflamed region. In particular we pray for the abducted Archbishops of Aleppo, Archbishop Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Archbishop Paul Yazigi.We ask international peace negotiators to bring the voice of religious and ethnic minorities into peace processes and to engage faiths and convictions in peaceful dialogue. While recognising that the EU Foreign Affairs Council and European Council have issued their conclusions on the situation in Iraq and Syria, we, the Conference of European Churches, urge the European Institutions to:
1. Pay special attention to the religious dimension of the existing conflict – especially the instrumentalisation of Islam – and implement an ongoing comprehensive plan to combat current extremism and radical ideology, which have also infected some Europeans and other foreign fighters and led them to support IS.
2. Call on those in conflict to respect freedom of religion or belief as a fundamental human right guaranteed by Art. 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and use the potential of ecumenical and inter-religious bodies, together with other civil society organisations to promote peace and religious tolerance.
3. Encourage EU member states to increase, as a matter of urgency, their assistance, humanitarian aid and refugee protection to those who belong to Iraqi or Syrian minorities, or any other minorities living in these territories, without consideration of their religion or belief, age, sex, ethnicity and to place special emphasis on women and children, people with disabilities and elderly people and single persons who have lost their families.
4. Extend and create possibilities for family members to be admitted to EU Member States in order to join their families with priority and reduced bureaucratic hurdles.
5. Substantially and urgently increase immediate financial support to the World Food Program in those countries that host refugees, and also ensure medical supplies, personnel, and winter shelter.
6. Implement EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief (2013) in order to promote human rights and human dignity of all people and nations without taking into account their country of origin.
7. Demand the implementation by EU member states of the EP resolution of 18 September 2014 on the situation in Iraq and Syria, and the IS offensive, including the persecution of minorities (2014/2843/ (RSP)) as well as the UN Security Council Resolution 2170(2014) and UN Human Rights Council resolution S_22/L.1(2014).
CEC supports efforts of the UNHCR and of neighbouring countries to the conflict aimed at providing protection and safety to refugees and also request European states to considerably increase their refugee resettlement contingents.We call upon all churches in Europe to join us in our prayers for all people who are suffering in conditions of extreme privation, and in expressing solidarity with churches and individual Christians in Syria, Iraq and the whole Middle East region. We pray that an end to these conflicts can be found so that peace may prevail in their homeland, where Christians have been present for centuries. We invite CEC member churches and all people of goodwill to carry out advocacy in this difficult moment vis-à-vis their own governments and to stand in solidarity in welcoming refugees and asylum seekers. We encourage other religious representatives to join us in this appeal to strengthen multicultural and multi-religious society in the Middle East region.

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Religious Freedom in the Republic of Cyprus

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 11 aprile 2010

On Wednesday 14 April 2010 from 14:30 to 16:30 in the European Parliament (PHS building – P7C050), the representation of the Church of Cyprus to the European Union, in cooperation with the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches, will organise a seminar Religious Freedom and Holy Sites in the Republic of Cyprus, under the high patronage of His Excellency Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering.  The Seminar will be hosted by Dr. Eleni Theocharous MEP (EPP-ED). The plenary will be addressed by His Beatitude Chrysostomos II, Archbishop of Cyprus and Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, former President of the European Parliament. Keynote speakers: Mr. Andreas Marvoyiannis, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus; Dr. Antranik Ashdjian, Representative of the Armenian Religious Community in Cyprus; Bishop Porfyrios of Neapolis, Director of the Representation of the Church of Cyprus to the EU; His Beatitude Youssef Soueif, Archbishop of the Maronites in Cyprus; Rev. Rüdiger Noll, Director of the Church and Society Commission of CEC.

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Autonomy of religious organizations

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 11 marzo 2010

Washington – A council of religious and secular leaders charged with improving the operations of the White House faith-based office and its partnerships has presented to senior Obama Administration officials recommendations for the office, including a list of 12 proposals that would implement reforms. The 25 members of President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships presented more than 60 recommendations from the task force charged with reform of the office and the five other task forces. The reform of the office task force’s 12 specific recommendations aimed to strengthen the constitutional and legal footing of public-private partnerships by clarifying the prohibited uses of direct financial assistance, providing guidance on the protection of religious identity while providing social services and assuring the religious liberty rights of clients and beneficiaries of federal social service funds. The Council’s recommendations made it clear that regulations and guidance regarding the use of federal social service funds should equally emphasize two requirements. First, any explicitly religious activities offered by a provider must be privately funded, separate in time or location from the government-funded program, and, second, nongovernmental providers that receive federal grant or contract funds may maintain their institutional religious identity. The Baptist Joint Committee is a 74-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based religious liberty organization that works to defend and extend God-given religious liberty for all, bringing a uniquely Baptist witness to the principle that religion must be freely exercised, neither advanced nor inhibited by government.

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