Interfaith

Sukhbir SinghSukhbir Singh came to present the words of Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh on the Charter of Forgiveness. This Charter adds to the Charter of Compassion that Karen Armstrong and others have initiated. The work on the Charter began four or five years ago and it is not yet finished.

Forgiving is an activity necessary for healing and reconciliation and the overcoming of legacies and memories of injustice, conflicts and wars of the past. This allows people to be liberated from being imprisoned in the past and allows the grace of the Divine to restore peace and harmony among individuals and communities.

Read more: Charter for Forgiveness: Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh

Ruth BarnettForgiveness is an extremely complex issue which I see very much in terms of an individual process of self-acceptance. By this I mean acceptance of the aspects of our self that we would rather not own.

Reverend Braybrooke opened the evening by expressing the horror we all feel at the utter brutality and depravity of what was perpetrated in the Holocaust - and, sadly, in so many genocides and atrocities since. Expressing horror at such evil is natural and human but at the same time locates the atrocities outside ourselves. Forgiveness begins, in my opinion, by owning the capacity in oneself (which is part of every human being) for acting in this same evil manner. Only by owning our darkest thoughts, urges, ideas and interest in evil, are we in a position to take control and choose not to act violently but responsibly, not to retaliate or exact revenge but to seek understanding through dialogue. When we own our own dark shadow we are able to empathise with others and forgive ourselves for our own vengeful thoughts and wishes.

Read more: Holocaust Memorial Day, Interfaith Harmony, Forgiveness and Healing by Ruth Barnett

Jack CorleyI agree with Marina Cantacuzino that forgiveness is not the exclusive property of Christianity. He quoted several faiths scriptures on forgiveness and reconciliation.

‘The best deed of a great man is to forgive and forget.’ Islam (Shiite). Nahjul Balagha, Saying 201

‘Where there is forgiveness, there is God Himself.’ Sikhism. Adi Granth, Shalok, Kabir, p. 1372

‘The superior man tends to forgive wrongs and deals leniently with crimes.’ Confucianism. I Ching 40: Release

‘Who takes vengeance or bears a grudge acts like one who, having cut one hand while handling a knife, avenges himself by stabbing the other hand.’ Judaism. Jerusalem Talmud, Nedarim 9.4

Read more: 'Forgiveness and Reconciliation'

Jack Lynes The Introduction to this evening’s meeting would, I thought, be the obvious place upon which to base my own contribution to our thoughts and discussions. Calling all Peoples to praise The Lord, with trumpet, lute and harp, may not, I suggest, necessarily equate to harmonious relationships between one Faith and Another. All too often history has been witness to religious conflict, with each protagonist apparently convinced they were fighting ‘in the name of G-d’.  And that first paragraph actually refers not simply to ‘differences’ but ‘religious differences’. These actual (or sometimes perceived) differences have indeed led to much suffering, but not, I suggest, either to genocidal brutality or indeed, the Holocaust.

Read more: Jack Lynes - Interfaith Harmony and Holocaust Memorial

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