Asia Pacific Interfaith Network
The mission of the Asia-Pacific Inter-faith Network is, to promote dialogue and foster mutual understanding, respect, andcollaboration between the followers of the various world religions. APIN’s goal is to promote respectful dialogue and peaceful coexistence between religious communities in the Asia-Pacific region, thus enhancing mutual understanding and friendly relations in each country and within the region.
APIN aims to: 1) provide leadership, coherence and direction to the initiatives and involvements already occurring in the Asia-Pacific region; 2) make a sustained intellectual contribution to the furtherance of inter-religious dialogue; 3) promote international research in inter-religious dialogue and co-operation; 3) serve as a resource for interfaith organisations and committees in the Asia-Pacific region with regard to inter-religious dialogue; 4) develop co-operative links with non-government organisations working in the area of interfaith relations. http://www.interfaithnetwork.asia/
Asian Resource Foundation (ARF)
The ARF was established in 1996 as an Asian initiative to respond to the needs of vulnerable communities particularly in the areas of children’s education, child rights, women’s empowerment and youth leadership development. ARF was also conceived as a mechanism to mobilize human and financial resources to respond to the emergency needs of the people affected by natural disasters which includes emergency relief and reconstruction programs. Asia being a multicultural region, ARF is seen as a platform for interfaith and intercultural cooperation for peace and development. Despite its Asian origin, since its inception, ARF has established links and cooperation with philanthropic individuals and organizations around the world.
The international secretariat is responsible for programs operating in 15 Asian and Middle Eastern countries. ARF has 3 country offices in Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan and field offices in Central and Southern Thailand. The Asian Resource Foundation promotes the spirit of caring and sharing and the light of Asian cultures and spiritual values, supports holistic development, enables the poor and other marginalized and vulnerable groups and strengthens cooperative actions among the people of Asia and beyond for a just, peaceful and sustainable world http://www.arf-asia.org
Regional Interfaith Network (RIN)
The Regional Interfaith Network (RIN) website was established in Melbourne, Australia in December, 2010, following a unanimous recommendation made at the 5thRegional Interfaith Dialogue held in Perth in 2009.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia, sought proposals from various institutions to establish and maintain the Regional Interfaith Website and subsequently awarded the project to the following consortium:
Australian Multicultural Foundation: The organization was established in 1989 to promote a strong commitment to Australiaas one people drawn from many cultures. www.amf.net.au
Religions For Peace: Formerly known as the World Conference of Religions for Peace (Australia) is Australia’s largest community based organization working for inter-religious harmony and social cohesion. http://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au/
The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne: Founded in 2000 as an educational and cultural non-profit organization with a mission to promote understanding and respect among the world’s religious and spiritual communities. www.interfaithcentre.org.au
Islamic Council of Victoria: The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) is the peak body for Muslim organizations in Victoria. Among the ICV’s many aims is the promotion of understanding, co-operation, tolerance and respect between all faiths. www.icv.org.au
The consortium thanks the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the initial resources to establish its website.
Australian Centre for Interfaith Ministry, Education and Research (CIMER)
CIMER engages with communities of people of other faiths, and contributes to mutual understanding and social cohesiveness in Australian society. We develop communities and make known the theological and other resources found in the Catholic and Christian tradition which support interfaith engagement. We focus especially on women’s role and participation in the religious faith traditions and women’s contribution to building societies of peace, justice and care of creation. http://www.cimer.org.au
Australian Intercultural Society
The Australian Intercultural Society (AIS), since its inception in 2000, has been working tirelessly to engender community harmony and inclusion by means of overcoming the discrimination and ignorance that exists between communities, becoming a catalyst for a social change.
To date, it has engineered countless events and projects aimed at fusing the Australian community harmoniously around the concept of “understanding through interaction”. This model adopted by the Australian Intercultural Society has been very successful in introducing to Australian society a new version in the arena of interfaith and intercultural relations.
AIS launched its new office with a formal ceremony on 3 April 2012. The opening ceremony was launched by Nick Kotsiras, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship. The event attracted a variety of VIP guests that included Members of Victorian Parliament, Deputy Commissioners, Consul Generals, Chief Magistrates, academics, community leaders, business executives, heads of government organizations and NGO’s. http://www.intercultural.org.au
Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations (APRO)
The Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations (APRO) is a peak-of-peak body that was established in 2003. It is unique in that it comprises representatives of major faith bodies as well as national-level multicultural community organisations. APRO is a practical example of how successfully faith and ethnic communities can work collaboratively in Australia. http://www.fecca.org.au/partnerships/australian-partnership-of-religious-organisations
Australian Religious Response to Climate Change
ARRCC is a multi-faith, member-based organisation of people from around Australia who are committed to taking action on climate change. We bring together representatives from all the major faith traditions to work together in addressing climate change. We recognise that climate change is not only a scientific, environmental, economic and political issue – it is also a profoundly moral and spiritual one: the Earth’s ecosystems are intrinsically precious and beautiful and deserve protection; the wellbeing of human beings is dependent on ecological flourishing; and it is the vulnerable people of the world who are most impacted by climate change.
We believe that as people dedicated to the common good, inspired by our beliefs and energized by our spirituality, people of all faiths can and should be at the forefront of creating a safe climate. While celebrating the uniqueness of our different traditions, we stand together in working for an ecologically and socially sustainable future. http://www.arrcc.org.au/
Bluestar Intercultural Centre
Bluestar Intercultural Centre was established by a group of young Australian Muslims in 2009 as a platform bringing together people in the Australian Capital Territory. Founders of Bluestar Intercultural Centre see the need for the Muslim community to interact with the greater society and meet the needs of the general public to increase its awareness of the Muslim community, its religion and culture. Bluestar has been involved in intercultural work since 2004 assisting in intercultural projects undertaken in Canberra including university panels and the first ever intercultural iftar dinner at the Federal Parliament House.
Bluestar’s Mission is that human interactions make all the difference in establishing harmony in our society. When people know each other and try to understand in the other frame of reference, a natural affinity emerges. It is this awareness that shatters stereotypes, false assumptions and negative perceptions. Bluestar endeavours to build bridges through dialogue, social interactions and education. We facilitate enduring relationships between people belonging to different races, cultures and faiths through intercultural dialogue and understanding. http://www.bstar.org.au/
Companions in Dialogue
Companions in Dialogue is an interfaith association with members from different religious, cultural traditions and backgrounds. The association has two main purposes. Firstly, to come together as companions on a regular basis for dialogue among ourselves. We hope that this dialogue will open up questions for critical reflection. Our second focus is to initiate activities that will promote interreligious understanding and harmony in the wider society.
The Vision of Companions in Dialogue is an association of women and men from different religious and cultural traditions committed to principles of respect and compassion seeking to support one another in individual and common activities that promote interreligious dialogue and understanding. Its Mission is to provide a forum for interreligious dialogue among its members and to devise ways of promoting interreligious dialogue as a group by creative programs and appropriate forms of advocacy. http://companionsindialogue.webs.com/
Faith Communities Council of Victoria
Established in 2010, the Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV) is Victoria’s umbrella multifaith body. FCCV was created to contribute to the harmony of the Victorian community by promoting positive relations between people of different faiths and greater public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, customs and practices of Victoria’s diverse faith traditions. FCCV’s members include Victoria’s umbrella faith bodies, religious and spiritual organisations, local multi-faith networks and organisations, educational bodies concerned with multifaith issues and interested individuals. http://www.faithvictoria.org.au/about-fccv
Inspired by our individual spiritual traditions, we work together to build a better world. Interaction is building a generation-wide movement of young people and has a mission of empowering young people to bring the shared values of their diverse traditions into the centre of their lives in the compassionate service of others.
How we do this is by creating change through our training and action projects. Our leadership training known as ‘iAct’ is designed to equip young people like ourselves with the skills, knowledge and vision needed to “be the change” and embody leadership in their personal lives, their community and beyond. Our action projects are tangible ways our young leaders are on the ground making a difference in the community.
Why we do this is because InterAction seeks to create a more spiritually engaged generation – an entirely youth-run organisation where young leaders are not afraid to get our hands dirty, rolling up our sleeves to lend a hand wherever it’s needed – not despite our faith but because of it. In a world where the dominant narrative about religion is one of conflict, we seek to tell a different story – one where religious communities work in genuine cooperation to meet the world’s needs. In this way we feel that InterAction is fanning the flames of a social movement where people of all backgrounds and beliefs feel united by a shared vision for personal and social transformation. http://interaction.org.au/
Intercultural Harmony Society
The Intercultural Harmony Society is a non- government organisation striving for the development and promotion of harmony and integration between the various faiths and cultures that manifest the Australian multicultural population.
Our aims are to promote the harmony of Australia’s diverse cultural values on national and/or international level, promote dialogue and interaction for cultural and religious understanding, raise public awareness on environmental issues, discriminations and racism and promote and foster harmonious relations between diverse cultures and faiths in Australian society http://www.harmony.org.au/
Jewish, Christian & Muslim Association of Australia
The JCMA aims to create and provide a forum for interfaith dialogue and shared experience through meeting and discussion in a modern Australian and international context. Meeting and learning from Jews, Christians and Muslims together, leads to a fuller understanding of other faiths and perhaps in turn of our own.
Objectives – To enhance the understanding of Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions within the community and how much they share, amongst religious leaders, lay people both religious and secular, parents, teachers and students; To encourage and facilitate the development of greater harmony and cohesion within the wider community through an acceptance of the legitimacy of each faith, and their ability to co-exist respectfully; To enable those who are involved in the JCMA and its programs to recognize that the people of each faith share many common values, ethics and aspirations for the well being of the Australian community; To spread that understanding of shared values and respect for difference and diversity to the wider local community.http://jcma.org.au/the-jcma
Manningham Interfaith Network
MIN brings people together from Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, Jewish and Sikh and other faith traditions in the City of Manningham to promote respect, harmony and the understanding of each other’s beliefs and to live together in peace and goodwill.
Our purpose is to foster harmonious relationships between people within the city of Manningham and to support all spheres of government in promoting responsible citizenship and peaceful co-existence. The aims of the network are to provide a forum for the faith communities represented in the city of Manningham to share information about their programs and activities, to demonstrate the abilities of faith communities to live and work together in peace and goodwill, to promote the advancement of mutual understanding and respect of one another’s beliefs, cultures and traditions and to provide an environment in which the differing faiths can support each other. http://www.manninghaminterfaith.org.au/
Mornington Interfaith Network
The Mornington Peninsula Interfaith Network is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2008. Our mission is to promote understanding and respect amongst religious and spiritual communities in the Mornington Peninsula area, fostering a peaceful coexistence. To achieve our mission we undertake activities in the Mornington Peninsula and surrounding areas such as community festivals promoting customs and beliefs of various faith traditions, assisting the Mornington Peninsula Shire with multifaith programs, organising meetings between various faith communities and tours to places of worship, developing educational talks for communities and school and retreats where people of different faiths can live together under a common roof and conduct dialogue.
The Network is an opportunity to celebrate the customs, cultures and beliefs of various faith traditions, promote respect and tolerance amongst faith communities in recognition of core human values, as well as an opportunity for dialogue and understanding http://www.mpin.org.au/
Multi-Faith Centre: Griffith University
In May 2002, the Griffith University Multi-Faith Centre was opened on the Nathan Campus through generous donations from various individuals and faith communities. The Centre was envisioned as a venue where people from diverse faith, religious and spirituality traditions can deepen their understanding of their own faith and actively participate in interfaith dialogue, education and action.
The Multi-Faith Centre also seeks to weave understanding, education, research and advocacy in interfaith dialogue towards a culture of peace in local, national and global contexts. The Multi-Faith Centre joins the efforts of many organizations and millions of people worldwide committed to building a world based on principles of peace, compassion, active non-violence, justice, human rights, intercultural respect, sustainability and spirituality. http://www.griffith.edu.au/community/multi-faith-centre/
The Multifaith Association of South Australia
The MFA was established in 1988 based on the long standing success of the Australian Faiths Tours (formerly ´3 Faiths Tours´). The object of the Association is to enhance knowledge, understanding and tolerance of all faiths, amongst the members of all faiths. Primary emphasis is upon those faiths practiced in South Australia and the Association seeks a real meeting of hearts and minds among members of different spiritual beliefs and cultures.
The Multifaith Association of South Australia strives to forge, through the activities of the Association, a sensitivity to the spiritual beliefs and cultures of others to establish a recognition of a firm purpose to protect their rights to the celebration of rituals and customs insofar as these do not impinge on the freedom of other faiths and cultures, and to promote harmony and unity through the sharing of common views, growth in knowledge and understanding of one another, the seeking and giving of constant support to one another, building a greater interconnectedness of the one with the other and facing, directly, those changes necessary to alleviate conflict, ignorance, fear and mistrust. http://www.multifaithsa.org.au
Sea of Faith in Australia
Formed in Brisbane in 1998 and incorporated in 2003, the network has members throughout Australia. Sea of Faith in Australia (SoFiA) is a network of Australians who are interested in the non-dogmatic discussion of religion, faith and meaning. We want to explore for ourselves what we can believe and how we can find meaning in our lives. SoFiA it is a forum for discussing ideas, experiences and possibilities. Any who find themselves in sympathy with our aim, ‘promoting the open exploration of religion’, is welcome.
The network affirms the continuing importance of religious thought and practice, but sees religion as a field of creative human endeavour which must be ever-changing to remain relevant. Sea of Faith feels free to draw on the rich spiritual heritage of the past, including the Christian tradition, but is not bound by it. It provides stimulation and fellowship in the common quest for meaning and fulfilment. The network welcomes people from all faith communities as well as those with no involvement in any organised religion. http://www.sof-in-australia.org/
Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria
The Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria (SICV) is an incorporated non-profit organisation, with a vision to create greater awareness and understanding of Sikhs and Sikhism in the Australian community. Since its formation on 1st September 2002, SICV’s mission has been to represent Sikhs on the multi-faith platform in Victoria. It has been invited, time and again to interfaith events and approached by government agencies to make representation on issues concerning the Sikhs in Victoria. SICV promotes and works for dialogue, respect and understanding among all religions.
Since the formation of the organization we have been a single voice representing the views of the Sikh Community in Victoria at various forums and networks. We are happy to engage in the activities of other interfaith networks because all are concerned with promoting respect, harmony, and understanding. Our presence enables us to present the Sikh point of view and if need be make representations about the Sikh faith. Activities are varied from offering a prayer, singing a Shabd (hymn), sharing a meal, discussing local issues, making a presentation, attending a forum, a festival or hosting a tour of place of worship. http://www.sikhinterfaithvic.org.au
The Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews
The National Council of Churches in Australia is a founding partner in this dialogue together with the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. This significant initiative was created to provide opportunity for the national bodies of each faith to come together to build understanding and harmony in the Australian context based on the following objectives.
- To be a model of how different faiths can live harmoniously together in Australia
- To build understanding, good will and a sense of community between people of different faiths
- To explore and learn about each other and our faith traditions
- To share our knowledge and insights with others
- To work together to achieve common goals in Australia
- To support each other in times of difficulty.
The Interfaith Network is a group of diverse cultural and religious faiths, working in partnership with the City of Greater Dandenong council to promote peace and harmony within the municipality. The Network is the first established Interfaith Network in Australia, and consists of various traditional and multi-faith groups who meet monthly at the Council offices. Their goal is simple – promoting understanding, respect and tolerance for each other’s beliefs by living together in peace and goodwill. The Interfaith Network covers faith communities in the Springvale, Dandenong, Keysborough and Noble Park areas and strives to achieve the vision of ‘Many Faiths, One People’.
The Network consists of leaders of the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Sikh faiths and their communities. The spiritual organisations of the Sathya Sai and the Brahma Kumaris are also members of the network. As the Interfaith Network becomes known and accepted, membership continues to grow. http://www.interfaithnetwork.org.au
The Theosophical Society
Founded in 1875 in New York, with international headquarters at Adyar, South India. The Theosophical Society now has branches in around seventy countries throughout the world, the Australian Section dating back to 1895.
The Society’s main purpose was to take a stand against dogmatic theology and scientific materialism and to give voice to matters of the soul and matters of the spirit marginalized since the seventeenth century. It has no views of its own to promote, but seeks to study the good to be found in any religion, philosophy and science that promotes a truly open philosophy. The Society welcomes seekers belonging to any religion, or to none, who are in sympathy with the three objects of the Theosophical Society. The motto of the Society is “There is no religion higher than truth”. http://www.austheos.org.au/
Together for Humanity
Together for Humanity is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that is helping schools, organisations and communities to respond effectively to differences of culture and religious belief by bringing students, teachers and those in the community into contact with people from diverse religious backgrounds in an open, supportive and enjoyable setting. This inspires interest, empathy and understanding as well as questioning existing prejudices, encouraging greater appreciation of others as people.
Over 50,000 Australian students have participated in our primary and secondary school courses across the nation. Our methods are proven to actively improve intercultural understanding between students of different religious backgrounds laying the foundations for tolerant and inclusive citizens. http://togetherforhumanity.org.au/
Uniting Church of Australia, Interfaith Dialogues
The Uniting Church values relationships with people of other faiths and cultures and affirms the place of interfaith dialogue in creating and sustaining a culture of peace and harmony. The Uniting Church recognizes that it is part of a wider interfaith journey and story, which is shared with those of other faiths. The Uniting Church affirms and puts into action the World Council of Churches guidelines as well as the four basic principles of interfaith dialogue identified by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (formerly the British Council of Churches).
In and through interfaith dialogues we meet with other people who share an experience of the Divine as we do. Dialogues cover areas of common interest and concern, explore different themes and issues of faith, and allow questions, confusions and misconceptions to be explored. Relationships and friendships built in these dialogues have other benefits. They model possibilities of mutual and respectful relationship to the wider community, and assist us to support, encourage and reach out to each other when there are issues and challenges in particular communities. http://assembly.uca.org.au/rof/interfaith-dialogue
Women’s Interfaith Network
The Women’s Interfaith Network (“WIN”) is a gathering of women of different religious traditions who meet and work to promote harmony, understanding and respect among the followers of the various world religions, and stand together as a sign of solidarity among people of faith.
We operate from a conviction that mutual understanding and respect for different religious expressions proceed from building personal relationships, co-operation and discussion. We meet monthly, listening to one another’s faith stories and supporting each other in projects that promote our ideals. http://www.fecca.org.au/Interfaith
Interfaith Search Fiji
Interfaith Search Fiji is made of 19 member groups from a range of different organizations and religious traditions. We meet every month to share teachings from scriptures, prayers, discussion, and a shared meal, involving people from different religious groups in Suva. This encourages and promotes love, goodwill, understanding and respect for all faiths amongst the community we work with. We want to create an environment where prejudice and misunderstanding will be destroyed and respect built on a solid foundation.
Our most important tool is dialogue. We come together as equals to listen and to learn, not to evangelise or to convert, as we share with one another what our sacred scriptures say on specific topics. Prayer has an important place in our activities. We begin all our meetings and gatherings with silent prayer so that as one, we may offer God, the Father of us all, our praise or our prayer for help or guidance. Prayer gatherings enable us to pray publicly together. Each group uses its own scriptures and prayers and its own language and rituals while others listen respectfully in a spirit of prayer. We also try to reach out to the wider community to express the sacredness of each religion through letters to the editor and press releases whenever an event threatens this sacredness. http://interfaithsearchfiji.com/
The Hawai’i Forgiveness Project
The Hawai’i Forgiveness Project is a not-for-profit community organization, that was started in 2002 by a diverse group of people in island society. We were concerned to bring greater harmony to our people, and were inspired by the example of International Forgiveness Day. We celebrate forgiveness in all its forms as part of a network of festivals in more than 80 countries.
The Hawaii Forgiveness Project offers opportunities for conversations on forgiveness at all levels of the community and to teach the life skill of forgiveness – that Aloha shall truly reign in all walks of life in Hawai’i. We share what we learn with all the people of the world. We seek a living re-connection between all the peoples of modern Hawai’i and the first Hawaiians, to their values and insights, and we share that wisdom with the world. We envision a community that embraces forgiveness as a life skill, weaving forgiveness into the fabric of our personal, social, cultural, legal, economic, educational, and spiritual life.
Our mission is to reach out to all the communities that make up Hawai’i today, by establishing a forum for continued conversations and life experiences centered on forgiveness; by providing a resource for information, ideas and tools, for workshops and special events on forgiveness; by developing our personal deep knowledge of forgiveness, exploring its many roots in world religions, philosophies, history and the arts, and regularly practicing what we are learning; and by honoring those among us who embody forgiveness in their life’s path and sharing their stories in creative ways. http://hawaiiforgivenessproject.org
The Interfaith Alliance Hawai’i
We are a progressive voice in Hawai’i promoting the positive healing role of religion in public life by encouraging dialogue, challenging extremism, and facilitating non-violent community action. The Interfaith Alliance Hawai‘i (TIAH) has risen to be a voice for justice in our state. It is an organization of individuals that speak from the perspectives of over 30 faith-based traditions. TIAH is designed to create an environment in which many people and groups of good will can come together to address public concerns. TIAH is a chapter of the national group located in Washington D.C. that is honored to have received a mantel of support from the former Hawai’i Council of Churches. In addition to the Executive Committee, TIAH has a diverse 25-member Board of Directors, representing many religious traditions and community groups. Also, an Advisory Council of distinguished religious leaders has been formed with the purpose of providing wisdom and counsel. The momentum of TIAH is dynamic and exciting. Together, this uniting of diversity aims to provide a meaningful place of respect, understanding, and harmony in our land of aloha. http://www.interfaithalliancehawaii.org/index.html
Auckland Inter-Faith Council
The Auckland Inter-Faith Council is an incorporated voluntary non-profit association which works towards representing the diversity of religious traditions, creating a forum for inter-faith dialogue, fostering mutual appreciation and good relations and promoting the elimination of religious prejudice. Membership includes people from a range of local religious groups and faith communities. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Auckland Multicultural Society
The Auckland Multicultural Society was formed to foster and learn from the experience and awareness of different cultures and to promote multicultural goals through community and educational projects. Our Misson is to work together to promote educational and social activities as a means of increasing understanding between cultures and strengthening New Zealand society. The goals of the Society are to foster awareness of each culture and communication between members of the Society; To experience and learn from the customs, traditions and ways of life of the ethnic groups represented in the Society as well as the wider community; To achieve through educational and community projects, deeper understanding and appreciation of different cultures; To publicise and promote the multicultural goals and work of the Society as a means toward achieving unity in New Zealand. http://www.aucklandmulticulturalsociety.org.nz/index.php
Fo Guang Shan
Fo Guang Shan New Zealand was established by Venerable Master Hsing Yunto to propagate the ideals of Humanist Buddhism. The organisation promotes Humanist Buddhism with the objectives of “propagating Buddhist teaching through cultural activities”, “fostering talent through education”, “benefiting society through charitable programs” and “purifying human minds through Buddhist practice”. There are two Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temples in New Zealand, one in Auckland and the other in Christchurch. Both temples serve as places of worship and promote interfaith, education and cultural diversity and organise events to foster harmony and respect between various faiths.
Fo Guang Shan continues to propagate Buddhism, while being a “home of wisdom” for all carrying on the ideal of Humanist Buddhism as expounded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun by fulfilling the four practices of giving others confidence, joy, convenience and hope, so that with the Buddha’s light shining across the three thousand realms and water of Dharma flowing through the five continents, the goals of localisation, internationalism, multiculturalism and simplicity will be achieved. See http://www.fg.org.nz
New Zealand Interfaith Group
The New Zealand Interfaith Group welcomes you in the spirit of understanding and cooperation between all of the faiths in Aotearoa, New Zealand. The group has evolved from a variety of interfaith groups which have been active in different parts of New Zealand over the past 20 years. Members of many faiths are represented and have been meeting together in an annual forum for the past few years. For more information contact email@example.com
Sea of Faith Network NZ
The Sea of Faith Network itself has no creed. It draws its members from people of all faiths and also from those with no attachment to religious institutions. It publishes a regular newsletter, assists in setting up discussion groups and holds an annual conference. The Network: 1) affirms the continuing importance of religious thought and practice as a vehicle for awe and wonder and for the celebration of key social and spiritual values; 2) draws freely upon our spiritual heritage without being bound by it; 3) promotes the quest for meaning and fulfilment as a human activity; 4) provides encouragement, stimulation and support in fellowship with others engaged in the quest.
While there is no formal affiliation between the SOF Networks in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and the United States, these country networks make up an informal worldwide “network of networks” regularly exchanging newsletter material and, on occasions, guest speakers. In addition, members of an internet discussion group of up to about 100 Sea of Faith members from many countries exchange points of view. See http://www.sof.org.nz/
The Waikato Interfaith Council
The Waikato Interfaith Council (WIFCO) is a voluntary non-profit association of persons who collectively represent the diversity of religious traditions and faith communities which exist within our wider society.
The Council aims to foster mutual appreciation and good relations between these traditions and communities; coordinate action, and/or to act on behalf of any or all of these communities in respect of religious issues and relationships to society at large; and act in an advisory and consultative capacity to the community. For more information – http://wifco.wikispaces.com/
Global Peace Festival Indonesian Foundation
GPF focuses on three areas of endeavor: interfaith partnerships, strengthening marriage and family and fostering a culture of service. Together, interfaith, family and service form the trifold platform of GPF, like the legs of a tripod providing essential elements and a balanced approach for effective peace-building. These three “pillars” are imbedded into all GPF-related programs.
GPF focuses on the essential principles that are affirmed by all major faith traditions. The true interfaith experience is rooted in the universal principles, values and aspirations that bind all people together as one family. GPF promotes interfaith partnership and collaboration based on the common purpose to serve the greater good. GPF encourages mutual respect, constructive dialogue and joint action inclusive of all cultures and traditions as essential components to peace building. http://www.gpfindonesia.org/
Institute for Interfaith Dialogue in Indonesia (Interfidei)
Religious pluralism (including faiths of the tribes) in Indonesia is a sunaatullah or Divine gift. There is no individual or group can hinder, reject, or remove religious pluralism of which Indonesians believe. Also, there is no way to formulate the diverse religions and faiths in Indonesia into one, same, and uniform method. Therefore, religions and faiths are significant and powerful elements in the hearts of the people.
Religious pluralism is not merely quantitative but also (and should be) qualitatively functional because it affects values in life. These values are the essence and meaning of religions and faiths. For this reason, in any contexts, locally or nationally, religions and faiths are inseparable from the responsibility to cope with national, social and humanitarian concerns. Interfidei believes that religions and faiths in Indonesia should be shared power to uphold justice, peace, and the integrity of all creation in Indonesia, and of course without violence. http://interfidei.or.id
MADIA (Masyarakat Dialog Antar Agama) Indonesia
MADIA (Masyarakat Dialog Antar Agama), or in English SIDA (Society for Inter- Religious Dialogue), was born out of a hope or even a utopia, a vision of the future as yet unclearly formed, yet inviting further exploration. Because everything begins with shared hopes.
MADIA grew out of relaxed discussions, informal chats between individuals and groups with diverse roots, which then began to resonate with a common purpose. On 10 November 1996, which coincidentally is National Hero’s Day, these individuals and groups decided to meet to share their concerns and hopes in the office of the late KAIROS, a church-based monthly magazine.
In attendance that day, in their personal capacities, were people from a wide variety of religious backgrounds: Paramadina, KWI (Indonesian Bishops’ Conference), The Center for Research and Development of the Indonesian Churches Association (PGI), IAIN (National Institute of Islamic Religion) Jakarta, and KAIROS as the host. The concerns and hopes that flowed and developed that day became shared concerns and shared hopes, which began to bind the members of MADIA together. http://ecumene.org/MADIA/MADIA.htm
Singapore Interracial & Religious Confidence Circle
The Singapore inter-racial and religious confidence circle (IRCC) is a group composed of leaders of different races and religions. The primary purpose of IRCCs is to provide a regular platform for leaders of various racial and religious communities to interact and get to know one another better to build confidence, friendship and trust.
Inter-racial and religious confidence circles (IRCCs), then known as “inter-racial confidence circles”, were first formed in 2002 in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States and the arrest, in December 2001, of 15 Jemaah Islamiyah members in Singapore who planned to bomb the Singaporean diplomatic missions of Australia, UK, USA and Ireland. The then Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, instigated IRCCs and “harmony circles” for schools, work places and other local organizations in January 2002, to “grow the common space and deepen inter-racial understanding”. http://www.ircc.sg/
Harmony Centre at An-Nahdhah Mosque
The Harmony Centre works closely with the 10 faith groups in Singapore and symbolises one of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore’s (Muis) efforts to engender a greater understanding of Islam and Muslims amongst the multi-racial population of Singapore. This is in fact a culmination and consolidation of many years of efforts by Muis to be open and transparent in presenting the Islamic way of life to Singaporeans as seen through programmes such as mosque open houses, mosque visit programmes and collaborative initiatives between mosques and grassroots, national as well as social service agencies. The Harmony Centre is housed in the An-Nahdhah Mosque and serves as an integrated hub for promotion of greater understanding of Muslims and Islam and that at the very core of its essence, is the message of peace and blessings to all. The Centre promotes a greater understanding of the true teachings of Islam, inter-faith dialogue and engagement at all levels: leadership, community, grassroots, youth and students through seminars, workshops, experiential learning journeys and visits as well as the strengthening of social bonding amongst the different faith communities so as to build a more cohesive and resilient society. http://harmonycentre.sg
The idea for the Central Singapore Joint Social Service Centre (CS JSSC) was first mooted by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong (then Prime Minister) in 1996. He envisioned a joint body that would enable Self-Help Groups and community organisations to pool resources and draw on synergies to reach out to all Singaporeans. Rising to the challenge, the five Self-Help Groups, Chinese Development Assistance Council, Yayasan MENDAKI , Singapore Indian Development Association, The Eurasian Association and Association of Muslim Professionals worked together with the Central Singapore Community Development Council to have the JSSC operational by 1997
On 27 May 2007 , the Central Singapore Joint Social Service Centre was repositioned and given a new identity – OnePeople.sg. With its repositioning, the 5 CDCs have joined together with the Self-Help groups and the People’s Association to come on board to support OnePeople.sg to focus its efforts on race relations and to champion racial harmony initiatives in Singapore. The mission of OnePeople.sg is to nurture a harmonious society through cross-cultural education and further contribute to the success of multi-racial Singapore http://www.onepeople.sg
The Inter-Religious Organisation
The Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore (IRO) was founded in 1949 and ten religions are represented in the organization – Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and the Baha’i Faith. Since it’s humble beginnings IRO has worked to promote peace and religious harmony in Singapore. The IRO participates in local and international forums, networks with organizations like the World Council on Religion and Peace (WCRP) and the Asian Council on Religion and Peace (ACRP), regularly conducts interfaith prayers and blessings and continues to promote inter-religious peace and harmony. We declare that religious harmony is vital for peace, progress and prosperity in our multi-racial and multi-religious Nation. We resolve to strengthen religious harmony through mutual tolerance, confidence, respect, and understanding. Our aims are to recognise the secular nature of our state, promote cohesion within our society, respect each other’s freedom of religion, grow our common space while respecting our diversity and foster inter-religious communications thereby ensuring that religion will not be abused to create conflict and disharmony in Singapore. http://iro.sg/
Singapore United is the web portal for the Community Engagement Programme of Singapore (“CEP”), which seeks to strengthen the understanding and ties between people of different races and religions and build up our society’s skills and knowledge in coping with emergencies. CEP creates community engagement by producing resources and information materials, runs workshops, festivals and celebrations and works with the community to develop response plans that will be activated in the event of a crisis, such as a terrorist incident. These plans aim to help Singaporeans cope with the shock and to stay calm and resilient, ensuring that our society remains cohesive so we can continue with our daily lives as quickly as possible.
A Ministerial Committee on Community Engagement (MCCE) has been formed to steer the CEP. Supporting the MCCE are six government agencies: Ministry of Home Affairs; Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts; Ministry of Manpower and People’s Association. http://www.singaporeunited.sg/cep/index.php/web
Centre for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation
CPBR aims to bridge divisions in Sri Lanka by creating networked peacebuilding groups in diverse areas of the country, simultaneously empowering communities to address their own needs and raising awareness of the similarity of such needs across the country’s ethnic boundaries. CPBR conducts workshops, dialogues, gatherings and camps on peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Through these methods they aim to promote awareness, empower, mobilise, strengthen and unite different groups of people belonging to all ethnicities and religions from different parts of the country in achieving a just, acceptable political solution to the ethnic conflict. CPBR’s approach is to select groups that can make a powerful impact on the conflict and to work with them, enabling them to gradually expand through widespread networking to make their shared vision come true.
CPBR has set up four inter-faith dialogue groups and invites religious leaders to come and openly discuss what the future holds for their communities. These leaders go on to galvanise their constituencies by promoting inter-community activities that bring people together regardless of religion or ethnicity. CPBR has also set up the Young Visionaries program to train the next generation of leaders to help people live together and prevent any further hostility or violence. http://www.insightonconflict.org/conflicts/sri-lanka/peacebuilding-organisations/cpbr/
Sarvodaya is an organisation developed around a set of coherent philosophical tenets drawn from Buddhism and Gandhian thought. It has been operational for almost 50 years and has been described as an international role model by international bodies. Its founder and charismatic leader, Dr A.T. Ariyaratne, whose visionary contributions have been recognised in many countries, continues to provide ideological and inspirational leadership to the organisation while the day-to-day operations are in the hands of a new generation, receptive to modern forms of management compatible with the overall vision of this volunteer-based organisation. Events at the village, district and national levels often begin with non-denominational meditation and invocations from the perspectives of all religions represented.
Sarvodaya is Sri Lanka’s largest people’s organisation and over the last 50 years has become a network of over 15,000 villages engaged in relief efforts in the war-torn north, ongoing development projects, peace building, conflict resolution, appropriate technology and programmes for children at risk, elders and those with disabilities – while focusing on a holistic approach to social mobilisation through empowerment of people beyond mere economic development. Our role in peacemaking, community building, and securing a certain quality of life in Sri Lanka is undiminished and our will to achieve innovation in the social, ethical, cultural, spiritual and economic fields is constantly nourished by partners who have the confidence that our 47 years of experience, including periods of hardship, have important value. http://www.sarvodaya.org
Niwano Peace Foundation, Japan
The Niwano Peace Foundation was chartered in 1978 to contribute to the realization of world peace and the enhancement of culture by promoting research and other activities, based on religious spirit and serving the cause of peace, in such fields as thought, culture, science, and education. Nikkyo Niwano, founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, during his many years of guiding the organization and disseminating its teachings has consistently urged the necessity of peace activities based on a religious spirit but transcending denominational bounds.
It is his firm belief that people of religion the world over, as well as others whose activities are rooted in the spirit of religion, should cooperate in a way transcending sectarian differences to promote such activities from the broad-based viewpoint of social and public well-being. It was with these goals in mind that Rissho Kosei-kai established the Niwano Peace Foundation. http://www.npf.or.jp
Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc.
Mindanao Interfaith Peoples Conference (MIPC), assumes a key place in facilitating the formation of groups and organizations to pursue and strengthen the dream of a just and peaceful Mindanao of different faiths living together in harmony and respect. MIPC envisions a society free from social inequities, poverty and foreign aggression and a society working towards total human liberation where people are able to live out their full potentials and aspiration, exercise their faith freely and work as responsible builders of wealth and progress. MIPC is an aggrupation of non-government nationalist development organizations and peoples organizations in Mindanao that acts as a service institution committed to the Mindanao tri-people poor of Lumads, Moro and lowland Christian communities through various capacity, conscious of the interfaith dimension of social development work. MIPC holds interfaith trialogue to promote solidarity, cooperation and mutual support for the tri-peoples aspiration. Through fora, symposia, interfaith celebration and prayer, and workshops, MIPC hopes to promote active awareness on generations-old animosities in Mindanao and a clear understanding on the Lumads and Moro rights to self-determination. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mindanao-Interfaith-Services-Foundation-Inc-MISFI/199210461600
Silsilah Dialogue Movement, Philippines
In the name of God, the fountain and source of dialogue, Silsilah envisions a life-in-dialogue for all Muslims, Christians, and peoples of other living faiths in respect, trust and love for one another, and moving together towards a common experience of harmony solidarity and peace. As instruments of dialogue and peace, we, the members of Silsilah commit ourselves to live the essence of our respective faiths and bear witness to the values of our own religious traditions; to be in dialogue with all peoples, regardless of culture and faith, promoting a culture of dialogue with particular emphasis on spiritual values; and to be in solidarity with all peoples in the uplift of the less privileged, in the building of a progressive, just humane and ecologically sound society. http://www.silsilahdialogue.com
The Peacemakers’ Circle Foundation, Inc.
We are a non-stock, non-profit, and non-partisan organization registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission. We are composed of people of diverse cultures and beliefs who recognize the Oneness of Humanity and are guided by the principles of unity in diversity, goodwill and cooperation. Thinking globally and acting locally, we strive to bring forth the highest ideals and teachings of our faith as we work together to help bring about the change that we wish to see in the world.
Our Vision is to create a world where peace and harmony prevails in the midst of diversity and where healing of the earth and all living beings is possible through co-creative human collaboration. Our Mission is to 1) promote the highest human aspirations of peace, justice, freedom, love, wholeness of being and healing through various Inner Work programs, workshops, and activities; 2) provide a convergence point of peoples of diverse cultures, orientations, and beliefs to engage in various forms of dialogue with one another; and 3) contribute locally to the global endeavor to end all forms of violence and promote healing of the earth and all living beings through various ways of peaceful mediation and co-creative nonviolent action. http://www.thepeacemakerscircle.org
Thailand Peace Network Foundation
The Thailand Peace Network Foundation is an apolitical organisation established in May 2010. The foundation’s stated objectives are to operate with love, mercy, justice and good will; to provide an information resource for organisations and individuals working towards conflict resolution; to support and help in coordination between individuals and organisations involved in peace-building both at the national and international levels; implement activities for peace and public services; and to coordinate with external organisations on peace building. The Foundation organises youth awareness training for peace-building, activities related to Dhamma practice for peace and helps establish networks between various actors involved in conflict resolution in Thailand. http://www.thaipeacenetwork.org/
Faith Community Network
The Faith Community Network was set up to help communities resolve conflict and started its work in South Thailand in 2008 in the provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. At the beginning, the Network identified that many previous groups in the region had failed to fully understand the local culture. A large amount of aid is channelled into these regions but unfortunately, many international projects have not had the desired impact because of a lack of understanding of the religious context at a community level. Particularly problematic was the lack of involvement of imams, the local Islamic religious leaders, who also work as general community leaders in this region. Since its launch in 2008, the Faith Community Network has expanded to cover a total of 133 communities in South Thailand. Their aim has been to support peace in these communities whilst maintaining community and religious identities. Much of the work has been focused on the conflict between Islamic and Buddhist communities through education and training programs http://www.insightonconflict.org/conflicts/thailand/peacebuilding-organisations/faith-community-network
GLOBAL (with Asia Pacific office):
Interfaith Cultural Organisation
“We have not come for dissension. Our purpose is love. The heart is the home of intimate friends. We have come to win over hearts.” Yunus Emre (Turkish Sufi Poet,1237-1320). Interfaith Cultural Organization (IFCO) is a non-profit, multi-cultural, faith based organization, whose purposes are spiritual and educational. We are dedicated to finding and celebrating the common ties that bind us as brothers and sisters and to fostering understanding, tolerance, respect, and love towards our fellow human beings by sharing cultures and spiritual traditions of the world’s sacred religions. Our principles can be summarized as: constant, positive action that leaves no room for confusion, fighting or anarchy; no affiliation with any political entity or government agency, domestic or international; rejecting favors from any organization or group that may expect a favor in return. http://interfaithathens.org/
United Religions Initiative
The purpose of the United Religions Initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. URI envisions a world at peace, sustained by engaged and interconnected communities committed to respect for diversity, nonviolent resolution of conflict and social, political, economic and environmental justice.
URI is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world. We implement our mission through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of our more than 525 member groups and organizations, called Cooperation Circles, to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights. Cooperation Circles are unique to URI’s organizational design. http://www.uri.org
The Universal Peace Federation
The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) is a global network of individuals and organizations dedicated to building a world of peace in which everyone can live in freedom, harmony, cooperation, and prosperity. Peace is not simply the absence of war or a term that applies only to the relationships among nations. Peace is an essential quality that should characterize all relationships. As an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) the Universal Peace Federation works towards UN renewal , sustainable development, women, marriage and family empowerment, interfaith peace building.
We believe that we are one human family created by God and that the highest qualities of the human being are spiritual and moral. We believe that the family is the ‘school of love and peace’, that we live for the sake of others and that peace comes through cooperation beyond the boundaries of ethnicity, religion, and nationality. http://www.upf.org
World Conference of Religions for Peace
Religions for Peace is the largest international coalition of representatives from the world’s great religions dedicated to promoting peace. Respecting religious differences while celebrating our common humanity, Religions for Peace is active on every continent and in some of the most troubled areas of the world, creating multi-religious partnerships to confront our most dire issues: stopping war, ending poverty, and protecting the earth.
The World Conference of Religions for Peace convened for the first time in Kyoto, Japan, on 16-21 October 1970. However, the origins of Religions for Peace date to 1961, when a handful of senior leaders from the world’s major faith traditions began exploring the possibilities for organizing a “religious summit” to address the need for believers around the world to take action toward achieving peace.
Fulfilling its mission to engage religious communities on the national and regional levels, Religions for Peace is today organized on several levels: the International Secretariat in New York, Regional Conferences in Europe and Asia, more than 75 affiliates at the national level, and a number of local units. Religions for Peace enjoys consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, with UNESCO and UNICEF. http://www.wcrp.org/
The World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific
The World Youth Alliance is a global coalition of young people committed to promoting the dignity of the person and building solidarity among youth from developed and developing nations. We train young people to work at the regional and international levels to impact policy and culture. Through this lived experience of the dignity of the person, young people are able to affirm life at all levels of society.