Universal Peace Federation UK
Interfaith Week Event
43 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NA
25th November, 2015
Baldev Singh-Bains, Sikh Consultative Council-UK
Yetunde Adeola, Women of Faith Foundation Speech Video
Sheikh Hojjat Ramzy, Chairman of Education Committee, Muslim Council of Britain Speech video
Edwin Shuker, Vice President of the European Jewish Congress Speech Video
Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke, President, World Congress of Faiths Speech Video
During Interfaith week we had a good opportunity to consider the state of inter-religious, intra-religious, and inter-community relations. In some cases it is the intra-religious tension that is the more difficult to overcome. As a group of people from different faith backgrounds, as well as no faith, we are attempting to create different models that enhance interaction between communities within the UK.
The UK is advanced in its efforts to bring communities together but it is also an effort that needs continual reinforcement and is subject to the influence of international tensions. These challenges oblige us to maintain our efforts. One significant influence is the Syrian crisis that calls us to reflect on our values and our responsibility to give sanctuary to refugees who have lost so much. Many religious leaders and founders have been refugees in times of great conflict when their guiding principles were tested by unpopularity and persecution. We would like to propose that young people also join the conversation and challenge themselves to develop their capacity to serve other communities and learn and understand the “OTHER” and to take the less popular route to learn essential points of faith, through the process.
Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke spoke of the recent World Parliament of Religions and the declarations made for women's rights, for climate change etc. He spoke of a recognition that interfaith has not been able to bring peace and love between different faith communities and the importance of forgiveness to bring hope to humanity.
Edwin Shuker spoke of the difference between giving and sharing. He explained that when he gives it is with a limit of what is his. When he shares it is from an infinite source. I am a candle with a light sharing from an infinite source of light. He added that he believes in the light that shines through all of us. The 21st Century has brought a religious revival but it should bring an understanding that it is impossible to kill in the name of God or our religion.
Yetunde Adeola shared that her passion was to assist women to be empowered to fulfil their potential. She expressed the need for people to reflect on their faith and their capacity to receive the love of God to be able to heal and save the world.