Jahnabi Barooha, Huffington Post, September 21, 2012
In today’s world, one could be easily be made to believe that religion primarily fosters hatred and violence. But the reality is that religious people and organizations have often been at the forefront of interfaith relations and restoring peace in violent regions. On International Day of Peace, HuffPost Religion is proud to share this list of national and international religious organizations that are working to promote peace on local, national and international levels.
Interfaith Encounter Association, Israel
The Interfaith Encounter Association is dedicated to promoting peace in the Middle East through interfaith dialogue and cross-cultural study. We believe that, rather than being a cause of the problem, religion can and should be a source of the solution for conflicts that exist in the region and beyond.
The Interfaith Center For Sustainable Development
The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD) accesses the collective wisdom of the world’s religions to promote co-existence, peace, and sustainability through education and activism.
OneVoice To End The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
OneVoice is an international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians, empowering them to propel their elected representatives toward the two-state solution. The movement works to forge consensus for conflict resolution and build a human infrastructure capable of mobilizing the people toward a negotiated, comprehensive and permanent agreement between Israel and Palestine that ends the occupation, ensures security and peace for both sides, and solves all final-status issues in accordance with international law and previous bilateral agreements. The 1967 borders form the basis for the establishment of an independent, viable Palestinian state, with permanent borders and any modifications to be agreed upon by both parties. The movement recognizes that violence by either side will never be a means to end the conflict.
Adventist Peace Fellowship
The Adventist Peace Fellowship (APF) emerged out of informal discussions begun in October 2001 about the meaning of the Adventist commitment to “the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ” for peacemaking in a world rent by violence. Their mission is to offer resources for exploring the significance of Adventist beliefs and heritage for peacemaking in a violent world; provide a forum for interchange and advocacy on how Adventist faith speaks to current issues of peace and peacemaking; and connect Adventists with other peacemaking resources and organizations.
Disciples Peace Fellowship
Disciples Peace Fellowship is dedicated to the elimination of war and the Biblical principles of peace and justice. We serve as a voice for members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who long for peace and justice to be at the forefront of our teachings and learnings.
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Partnering with nonviolent movements around the world, CPT seeks to embody an inclusive, ecumenical and diverse community of God’s love. We believe we can transform war and occupation, our own lives, and the wider Christian world through: the nonviolent power of God’s truth, partnership with local peacemakers and bold action.
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship is all about taking action to reduce violence in the world. The people who get involved in our work need to be ready to follow Jesus into the same kind of risk, daring, and potentially life-threatening work that got his earliest followers into so much trouble. We’re about a positive, gospel-centered vision of peace. When genuine peace seems distant, we’re called to increase our faithfulness. When weariness seems to overtake us, we’re called to lift one another up and to continue our quest for the elusive reign of God.
Pentecostals And Charismatics For Peace And Justice
We work within our own traditions and heritages to promote the peace and justice of Christ while also cooperating with fellow believers from other parts of the body and concerned folks from other (and no) faith(s).
Orthodox Peace Fellowship
The Orthodox Peace Fellowship of the Protection of the Mother of God is an association of Orthodox Christian believers seeking to bear witness to the peace of Christ by applying the principles of the Gospel to situations of division and conflict, whether in the home, the parish, the community we live, the work place, within our particular nations, and between nations. We work for the conservation of God’s creation and especially of human life. We are not a political association and support no political parties or candidates.
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) is a national organization connecting all who seek a deliberate response to injustice and violence and want to pray, study and take action for justice and peace in our communities, our church, and the world. We are called to do justice, dismantle violence, and strive to be peacemakers.
Fellowship of Reconciliation
The Fellowship of Reconciliation is composed of women and men who recognize the essential unity of all creation and have joined together to explore the power of love and truth for resolving human conflict. While it has always been vigorous in its opposition to war, FOR has insisted equally that this effort must be based on a commitment to the achieving of a just and peaceful world community, with full dignity and freedom for every human being.
Muslim Peace Coalition USA
Muslim Peace Coalition is composed of Muslim Americans in 15 states who are committed to the principle of standing up and speaking for justice (Quran 4:135) not only because of their desire to uphold the principles of their faith, but also out of deep concern and commitment to our country.
Buddhist Peace Fellowship
The Buddhist Peace Fellowship works for peace from diverse Buddhist perspectives.
- Buddhist Peace Fellowship embraces a triple treasure of compassionate action – learning, speaking, and doing.
- Speaking/Communication: Our public voice brings Buddhist teachings into conversation with situations in the world, inspiring and informing action for peace.
- Learning/Community: Our trainings strengthen Buddhist leadership for peace, and build socially engaged Buddhist communities.
- Doing/Collaboration: As part of the mandala of social change, we act in collaboration with other organizations and individuals, working together to cultivate the conditions for peace.
United Religions Initiative
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.
The World Peace Prayer Society
To spread the Universal Peace Message and Prayer, May Peace Prevail On Earth, far and wide to embrace the lands and people of this Earth.
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.
Global Peace Initiatives
Global Peace Initiatives mission is to create transformational opportunities for individuals and communities through food growing and service initiatives that promote sustainability and peace.
The Religious Society of Friends
Religious witnesses for peace since 1660.
Pax Christi International
Pax Christi International is a non-profit, non-governmental Catholic peace movement working on a global scale on a wide variety of issues in the fields of human rights, human security, disarmament and demilitarisation, just world order, and religion and violent conflict.
The Catholic Worker Movement
The aim of the Catholic Worker movement is to live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ. Our sources are the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures as handed down in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, with our inspiration coming from the lives of the saints, “men and women outstanding in holiness, living witnesses to Your unchanging love.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, the Community spans over 200 countries with its USA chapter, established in 1920, being among the first and oldest American-Muslim organizations. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was created with the objective to rejuvenate Islamic moral and spiritual values. It encourages interfaith dialogue and diligently tries to correct misunderstandings about Islam in the West. It advocates peace, tolerance, love and understanding among followers of all faiths. Recognizing a state of disharmony, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community launched a grassroots education initiative called Muslims for Peace (www.MuslimsForPeace.org), which aims to spread the message of peace and tolerance. The Muslims for Peace initiative seeks to debunk the myth that Muslims do not stand up against terrorism or that Islam promotes violence instead of peace. It is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s simple way to spread the message of peace one person at a time. We believe that peace and respect can only be established through mutual understanding and knowledge.
Mennonite Central Committee
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. MCC envisions communities worldwide in right relationship with God, one another and creation
On Earth Peace
On Earth Peace answers Jesus Christ’s call for peace and justice through its ministries; builds thriving families, congregations, and communities; and provides the skills, support, and spiritual foundation to face violence with active nonviolence.
This article was originally published by Huffington Post, September 21, 2012.