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Since taking office, Pope Francis has profoundly reminded the church about the Christian vocation to work for a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. This task, he insists, becomes all the more urgent in the face of contemporary global challenges such as climate change, inequalities, the refugees crisis, and the passive attitude that he describes as “the globalization of indifference.” In Evangelii Gaudium, Francis makes this task clear:
“the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God. Nor should our loving response to God be seen simply as an accumulation of small personal gestures to individuals in need, a kind of “charity à la carte”, or a series of acts aimed solely at easing our conscience. The Gospel is about the kingdom of God (cf. Lk 4:43); it is about loving God who reigns in our world. To the extent that he reigns within us, the life of society will be a setting for universal fraternity, justice, peace and dignity. Both Christian preaching and life, then, are meant to have an impact on society. (180)”
But what is the best way for us to have a positive “impact on society?” How can any of us ever have an impact on destructive attitudes and social arrangements, what the Catholic tradition describes as “structures of sin”?
Amidst killings, disappearances, assaults, threats, intimidations, harassments and restrictions on journalists, widespread self-censorship and exile of journalists critical of the government, surveillance and blocking of websites, and absolute impunity, there was very little to celebrate World Press Freedom day in Sri Lanka last few years. Perhaps the only thing to celebrate was the resilience of few who dared to express their views at grave risk to themselves, colleagues, families and institutions.
europeinfos #182 - May 2015
Concrete initiatives launched by Christian organisations during COP21 in Paris in December 2015 to encourage leaders to insure firm commitments against climate change.
CIDSE is an international alliance of 17 Catholic development organisations working together for global justice. Caritas Internationalis is a network comprising 165 organisations. It works for a world of peace, solidarity and justice. It provides help to victims of war, natural disaster and poverty and to migrants. CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis together published in November 2014 the declaration: "Catholic international organisations facing up to climate change". It is a powerful call for action to governments and international organisations to react quickly and in an effective way to face the challenges of climate change.
First Published in (Salaam – Quarterly to Promote Understanding. Published by the Islamic Studies Association, New Delhi. Vol 36, April 2015 No.2 ISSN 0970-5384). Printed at Academy Press, Noida.
Whenever I attended an interfaith event I was always amused to see the religious leaders advocate about their own faith and find common grounds to build solidarity. However, a student I was always the recipient only having scope to ask questions or share my opinions. There was always a question on my mind as to how youth from various religious backgrounds who are not scholars in scriptures would respond to the call of interfaith dialogue. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see”, I determined to create this opportunity with few individuals who are likeminded and are working closely in the area of interfaith dialogue.
On 25 April 2015, human rights defender Ms Sabeen Mahmud was shot dead in Karachi upon leaving a seminar on Balochistan issues.
After the brutal beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts a short time ago, the ISIS has announced today the killing of 28 other Christians, all Copts and in Libya as well. But this time, the victims did not come from Egypt, but from Ethiopia. Yet, similarities between Ethiopia and Egypt do not stop there. Both countries possess a religious diversity and, hence, share much more than it seems: these are two countries where religious communities coexist peacefully, where collaborations between communities shall be further intensified. And it is perhaps there that a strategy, if any, may find its elements to emerge.
europeinfos #181 - April 2015
The impact of climate change will become more intense and its effects will be irreversible. We will have to adapt to new physical and climatic conditions.
This article is the third in a series of monthly pieces that aims to prepare our readers for COP21, the UN Conference on Climate Change that will take place in Paris in November 2015. This time we will focus on adaptation, previously it was on mitigation, as the second main stream of the actions for addressing climate change.
europeinfos #181 - April 2015
Like Nero, fiddling while Rome burned, most politicians pressed the continue-as-before button.
The issue of climate change is rarely far from the headlines. The COP21 in Paris in early December is focusing minds in 2015, but perhaps what keeps the matter on the boil continually is the gut feeling most people have that urgent steps are necessary, while few are willing to take concrete action themselves.
Dear members of the Conference of INGOs
The World Forum for Democracy will be held in Strasbourg (France) from 18-20 November 2015. The theme of this year’s Forum is “Freedom vs control: For a democratic response”.
The Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy is an annual gathering of leaders, ...
Please find the UPR stakeholders submission on Nepal in the attachment.
“The missionary dimension should characterise all Church structures, even the Roman Curia”. The Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, today met the Secretariat of the Catholic Action International Forum and expressed his appreciation for the objectives for international ecclesial cooperation which characterise the IFCA ’Ac ensalida’ (Outgoing CA) programme.
The IFCA Secreteriat held its meeting in Rome during these last few days to fine tune the agenda of the commitments which will be undertaken during the coming two years. The meeting was attended by 30 national leaders and priest assistants from the 5 Countries which make up the IFCA coordinating organism – Argentina, Italy, Romania, Spain and Burundi and Rwanda. There were unitary working sessions as well as working sessions focused on different age-groups.
International Catholic movements are currently strengthening their cooperation regarding the presence in international institutions, thematic reflections, speaking out .... These movements have a long history associated with specialized Catholic Action, and had a strong influence in the society as well as in the Church. They are now living in a very different context compared to their origin. Are they still relevant today? What is their charism compared to lay movements born after the council? We will address this issue at our meeting on 22 and 23 May 2015.
In this paper I would like to reflect on his dialogical method in the light of his course on Islam for the students of Regional theology Centre at Danapur and later in Khaspur. Jackson conducted this particular course for 26 years from 1983.
I propose to illustrate that totally present to the other is at the heart of the dialogical legacy of Paul Jackson. Jackson discovered this in his pilgrimage into the writings of Sufi Saint Sharafuddin Maneri, and into the lives of many theologically thinking and spiritually vibrant Muslim friends. He endeavoured to create an ambiance for his students to learn something similar to what he has learnt from the context of Muslims of Bihar.
Statement by H. E. Mr. Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden, at the ECOSOC Integration Segment
I am honoured to be here today, together with all of you, for a segment with an impressive list of both topics and participants. I certainly look forward to our discussion. Let me start by stepping back in time. Reshma, a seamstress in a garment factory, saw the light of day again, after 17 days. Helped by rescue workers, she emerged from the rubble, having survived on dried goods and water. But more than 1 100 of her colleagues died in that factory in Dhaka, when it collapsed in April 2013.
This tragedy was not a unique event. Two million people die at work every year.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Islam, Peace, Justice and Dialogue
Yoginder Sikand and Victor Edwin
In a conversation with a group of Christians who are members of Islamic Studies Association (ISA), Delhi Maulana Wahiduddin Khan's tells about his understanding of Islam, Peace, Justice and Dialogue. ISA aims to work for communal harmony and national integration in India. The Constitution of ISA notes; “In the name of God and His ever greater service, to promote national integration of all Indian cultural, social and religious groups and support Government programs for this purpose”, and to “work towards harmonious relations among Muslims, Christians, Hindu and other religious and social communities in India”. This broad desire is focused on the first specific step: “to promote study, research and teaching regarding the history, religion, culture, socio-economic conditions and other aspects of Islam”.
Friends, now the 70% life is back to normal the rest 30 % will be after Easter holidays hopefully. The markets in here are half open because of the fear of getting arrested. There are more than 100 boys and young boys and men arrested by the CIA . They are kept in the cells and given no food there and no washroom facilitilies. This is what I heard, I haven't seen.
Nowadays we are constantly in a great trouble. We need your prayers at this time of agony.
+ we are being threatened by near by area people .
+ people have again moved to their save places. ( a very few number is here).
+ 3% students were in the schools today.
+ the very update from here is that an man named gulam rasol had been caught yesterday evening, how was just roaming around in here. He told the police in investigation that he was involved in the blast he was the one who helped them to carry the details from here.
+ many christians have been arrested
I am grateful to you all for being with us at this critical time. We, in Youhanabad are going through many temptations so certainly we need your moral and spiritual support to rise again in faith and love of God.
Now a few updates from Youhanabad is as below:
+ the rangers are outside the Youhanabad and the police is in all the streets and corners.
+till 10 am the shops are open .
+ morning Holy Mass in being celebrated.
I am presently at Youhanabad since 2 years, I am working in St John's Boys school Youhanabad. Catholic Church is situated on the same road of my school. Fortunately or unfortunately the blast just happened outside the gate in both the churches. The local security guards of the both churches were brave enough that they didn't allow suicide boomers to let in the church .