In English

CentreNew Centre on "Religion and Global Affairs"

"The Centre on Religion and Global Affairs is a new research and policy centre based in London, Beirut and Accra. Its motto is the Latin phrase: Cognoscere Mundum: to understand the world. The vision of the Centre is to provide policy focused research and analysis on the intersection of religion and global affairs. Areas of focus include religion and security, conflict and stability, diplomacy, relief, aid and development, public health, rule of law, good governance and leadership, human rights, gender, business and economy. It proposes no preferred judgement on any religion or belief and their epistemic claims. It does not promote any particular faith or a secular vision. It does not take any political side or promote a political agenda. It focuses on understanding the context in which beliefs emerge, develop, change and impact global affairs. While the research and project activities of the Centre are focused on the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, the Centre provides policy-relevant information, advice and expertise to decision and opinion makers around the globe." - The organisation is headed by Ziya Meral (director), Catherine Young, Martin Accad, and John Azuma. Visit website here: http://www.centreonreligionandglobalaffairs.org/

Interfaith Course in Bossey, Switzerland, 27 July to 14 August 2015

Wealth and Poverty in Judaism, Christianity & Islam. Building an interfaith community. This 3 week residential course is designed to enable participants to encounter each other in mutual respect, to learn together, and to challenge and overcome stereotypes. While fully respecting and affirming each particular faith identity, the overall question to be explored is: What can we, as people of faith, do to respond and to overcome, the pressing challenges of our time as violence and conflict and build together mutually accountable societies based on respect and cooperation? Read more.

The West is suffering for its loss of faithJonathan Sacks-

The chief rabbi for all the Jews in the Commonwealth, Jonathan Sacks, writes in the Spectator: "... religion has social, cultural and political consequences, and you cannot expect the foundations of western civilisation to crumble and leave the rest of the building intact. That is what the greatest of all atheists, Nietzsche, understood with terrifying clarity and what his -latter-day successors fail to grasp at all. ... I have not yet found a secular ethic capable of sustaining in the long run a society of strong communities and families on the one hand, altruism, virtue, self-restraint, honour, obligation and trust on the other. A century after a civilisation loses its soul it loses its freedom also. That should concern all of us, believers and non-believers alike." Read more.

Longing for Community-book-Church, Umma, or Somewhere in Between

Longing for Community. Church, Umma or Somewhere in Between compiles the research and reflection of twenty missiologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and linguists - among them Muslims who have become believers in Jesus Christ. ... The contributors explore the multiple levels and hybrid nature of social identity, pointing to the need to free our discussion from single-dimensional scales, which are far from adequate to describe the complex nature of conversion and lived-out faith" The book is based on contributions from scholars and practionners at at the second "Coming to Faith Conference", held in 2010. The editor has written an article summarising the conference: "Identity, Discipling Women and Diversity...." Download. See also Tim Green's article on "Identity Issues for ex-Muslim Christians with Special Reference to Marriage", which is also based on presentations at this conference. Download. The book is available at the rate of USD 15,99 here.

muslimerContextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians

Duane Alexander Miller has submitted his PhD dissertation on conversion of Muslims to Christianity and their theology-making. "Since the 1960’s there has been a marked increase in the number of known conversions from Islam to Christianity. This thesis asks whether certain of these ex-Muslim Christians engage in the process of theology-making and, if so, it asks what these theologies claim to know about God and humans’ relation to God." He argues "that ex-Muslim Christians are engaged in theology-making, that areas of interest to them include theology of the church, salvation and baptism, and that the dominant metaphor in these theologies is a conceptualization of love and power that sees the two divine traits as inseparable from each other; they represent a knowledge about who God is and what he is like, which, in their understanding, is irreconcilable with their former religion, Islam.". Download dissertation draft.

MarouaChristian and Muslim Leaders in West and Central Africa on Peace and Development

Christian and Muslim leaders form 12 Francophone West and Central AFrican countries met at a conference in Maroua, Cameroun from 6 to 10 January 2013 to discuss "Challenges and Opportunies for Collaboration for Peace and Development and the Role of Religion in Peace and Development". A joint "Maroua Communiqué" was issued in which they among other things decided to "Call on religious leaers to exercise political neutrality and avoid negative tendencies that have the potential of causing conflicts" and to "Appeal to governments and armed groups in northern Mali, Central AFrican REpublic, Democratic Republic of Congo to cease-fire and seek dialogue to resolve their disputes so as to put an end to the suffering of thier people". The Christian and Muslim women in the conference issued a separate statement in which they among other "lamented ... that there are certain cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and rising vices such as child trafficking and rape that call for concerned efforts to eradicat. The conference was organaised by Mission Afrika and Project for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa" and was sponsored by DANIDA.

Ziya MeralZiya Meral and the Persecuted Church

December 26 is St. Steven's Day, the day when the church is reminded of the martyrs of the church. A few years ago Ziya Meral reflected on the plight of converts from Islam to Christianity in "Christianity Today". Ziya Meral, who himself is a convert from Islam to Christianity, is a London-based Turkish analyst, researcher and writer with special expertise on The Middle East and human rights and religious freedom. "More Christians are killed than are saved from execution at the last minute. More Christians stay locked in prison, beaten and tortured, than are able to walk free, guided by miraculous escape plans. More Christians suffer lifelong deprivation of their most basic civic and economic rights. More converts from Islam give up their faith than stay Christians, and those who remain in the church struggle with lifelong battles with shame, depression, and isolation, caused by the loss of ties to their families, communities, and nations. Above all, for the average persecuted Christian, there are unanswered prayers and the absence of peace, strength, courage, and joy. Their humanness in a very earthly plot line finds no place in our modern-day obsession with heroic stories with victorious resolutions." Download (Photo from hearing on the situation of Christians during the Arab Spring, at Christiansborg, Copenhagen, May 21, 2012. Ziya Meral to the left).

New Mission Document from World Council of ChurchesWCC-logo

The Commission on World Mission and Evangelism of the World Council of Churches has finalized its proposal for a new WCC Affirmation on Mission and Evangelism to be presented at the WCC assembly in Pusan 2013. The title of the miission document is "Toghether towards life: Mission and evangelism in changing landscapes". Download.

Pakistani Muslim Leaders Support Christian Girl Accused of Blasphemy

Rimsha Massih-photo"The All Pakistan Ulema Council, an umbrella group of Muslim clerics and scholars, which includes representatives from fundamentalist groups, joined hands with the Pakistan Interfaith League, which includes Christians, Sikhs and other religions, to call for justice for the girl, Rimsha, who is accused of blasphemy. They also demanded that those making false allegations be punished. ...This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that the Muslim community and scholars have stood up for non-Muslims," said Sajid Ishaq, chairman of the Pakistan Interfaith League. "We are together, demanding justice, demanding an unbiased investigation. And those abusing this law should be taken care of". Read Guardian Article.

Rising Tide of Restrictions on ReligionMap of hostility

A new report from the Pew Research Center "Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion", documents that a rising tide of restrictionson religion has beed spreading in 2009 and 2010. Apart from increasing governemt restrictions on religion, the level of social hostilities towards adherents of religions is also increasing. Christians are the religious group that are most likely to be exposed to social or governement harasment, followed by Muslims.  "Christians, for example, were harassed by government officials or organizations in 95 countries in the year ending in mid-2010 and by social groups or individuals in 77 countries. Muslims also were more likely to be harassed by governments (74 countries) than by social groups or individuals (64 countries). Jews, by contrast, experienced social harassment in many more countries (64) than they faced government harassment (21)." Download report.

Konf-deltagereAfrica Christian and Muslim Religious Leaders Conference for Peace and Development

54 Christian and Muslim leaders from eight African countries met in Addis Ababa Januar 8 - 12, 2012, for a conference on religion, peace and development, organised by Programme for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa.
Concept paper for conference: Download. Read more about the conference in the documents below.
Blog from the conference by Mogens S. Mogensen here
Statement on the situation in Nigeria - in English. Download.
Statement on the situation in Nigeria - in Danish. Download.
Informations about the conference - in Danish. Download .
Conference Communique: Download.

Hearing on Misuse of the Blasphemy Law and Rights of Religious Minorities in Pakistan

The World Council of Churches held an international hearing on “Misuse of the Blasphemy Law and Rights of Religious Minorities in Pakistan” in Geneva 17-19 September 2012 which was attended by about 100 participants from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, including 23 representatives of Christian, Muslim and Hindu religious groups and civil society and human rights organizations from different parts of Pakistan. In the communique it was stated that "The common experience of abusing and misusing the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan has led to physical violence, damage, destruction of properties and loss of life among innocent people over the years. In recent times, the number of victims has been increasing." The participants in the hearaing therefore urged "the Government of Pakistan to take realistic and solid steps to stop abuse of the Blasphemy Law that are causing massive human rights violations." Read communique

International Essay Competition celebrating Danish Mission Council’s 100-years Anniversarydmrlogo

"Celebrating the Danish Mission Council’s (DMC) 100-years anniversary in 2012, the Council’s Study Commission has announced an internatio- nal essay competition. The theme of the essay competition is partnership in missions: Theology and Practice of Partnership in Missions. - All Christian mission organizations are today dependent upon their partner organizations in realizing their missions. This implies a challenge namely how to establish fruitful partnerships bridging cultural, social, economical and theological differences. Thus, the question is: What does a good partnership include – economically, organizationally, and theologically? The aim is to further reflection and formulation of a new theology and practice of partnership in missions on the basis of historical investigations, present experience and systematic theological reflection." Read more. See Danish vversion of the essay competion on mission here .

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