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Peacebuilding

Distinguishing Sympathy, Empathy, and Compassion

Distinguishing Sympathy, Empathy, and Compassion

by Marcus Braybrooke

Sympathy, empathy, compassion; my dictionary treats them as synonyms. Contributors to the important new book Confronting Religious Violence, however, suggest there are important differences.

Seeds of Interfaith Peacebuilding in Ukraine

Seeds of Interfaith Peacebuilding in Ukraine

by Lidiia Batig

In 2013 the history of Ukraine changed dramatically. Communities had been betrayed by state power, by their own politicians, and even their president.

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

Is the world becoming more compassionate or more hateful? This prickly question is eloquently answered in the opening paragraph of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of revolution in France, A Tale of Two Cities.

Analyzing the Intangible

Analyzing the Intangible

by Gaea Denker

Every nonprofit wants to think it’s helping the world. But in a field as intangible as peacebuilding, where small interactions slowly build trust over generations, how can peace proponents know their efforts are really working?

Digital Storytelling to Advance Peace in Pakistan

Digital Storytelling to Advance Peace in Pakistan

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

The iconic image of a male storyteller addressing an enraptured audience pressed shoulder to shoulder around a glowing campfire may soon be replaced by hijab and sari-clad young women holding their smart phones.

Missing Voices

Missing Voices

by Marcus Braybrooke

After the inauguration of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development in Vienna last month, I visited the Mauthausen Concentration Camp.

Groundbreaking Interfaith Curriculum Being Published

Groundbreaking Interfaith Curriculum Being Published

by Paul Chaffee

Interfaith Made Easy may initially inspire caustic remarks like “then it can’t be much about interfaith.” A closer look by either novice or seasoned interfaith activists is likely to inspire awe and appreciation.

Why Religious Diversity is the Pathway to Peace

Why Religious Diversity is the Pathway to Peace

by Victor Kazanjian

On Christmas Eve, people across the United States and around the world gathered to watch “May Peace Prevail on Earth: An Interfaith Christmas Special,” broadcast on CBS stations nationally and streamed online internationally by the United Religions Initiative who produced the program. At first glance, “an Interfaith Christmas” seems a strange contradiction.

Transforming Our Differences

Transforming Our Differences

by Tahil Sharma

This past year felt like a constant uphill battle. I never realized the degree to which my friends, colleagues, and I would be fighting to keep justice and equity afloat in a world that seems to be increasingly sinking into darkness.

Breaking Down the Walls of Our Hearts

Breaking Down the Walls of Our Hearts

by Marcus Braybrook

have been thinking a lot about breaking down walls, as I have just returned from an interreligious peace conference in South Korea.The highlight was a peace rally in the World Cup Stadium that included speaker after speaker who affirmed the longing for peace and reunification of Korea.

Meeting People Where They Are

Meeting People Where They Are

by Rev. Andrea Goodman

Can a ten-year-old religious nonprofit that is not a church thrive and grow without fundraising and with no employees? Yes! Here is the story of The Interfaith Peace Project.In 2006, Fr. Tom Bonacci and I were in a café sharing a meal in San Francisco, CA. We each carried the grief of recent program losses.

Uganda Welcomes Refugees with Hospitality and Love

Uganda Welcomes Refugees with Hospitality and Love

by Despina Namwembe

On the 31st of January, we left for the northern part of Uganda in a place called Adjumani (which borders Southern Sudan) to celebrate the Interfaith Harmony Week. We celebrated with our brothers and sisters who are now refugees in Uganda because of the insurgency going on in their country.

'We are Your Aunties, and We Are Coming for Mediation'

'We are Your Aunties, and We Are Coming for Mediation'

by Kira Zalan

Over the past three years, funded by a modest grant from the Dutch government, 16 women and the local organizations they run in Sudan have intervened in dozens of disputes and brokered solutions. In some cases, that meant building a freshwater well—in others, assistance in drafting laws and power-sharing agreements.

Interfaith Activist Running for Congress

Interfaith Activist Running for Congress

by Audri Scott Williams

Recently I decided to run for political office in 2018 for the state of Alabama. I will be a progressive Democratic candidate in Alabama’s Congressional District 2, for the U.S. House of Representatives. Friends who know me well have asked me, “Why are you running for a political office?”

Listening as Peacebuilding

Listening as Peacebuilding

by Ana Patel

Last year, while facilitating an experiential peacebuilding workshop, I invited the participants to try a listening exercise. Simple idea – simple activity. Participants were asked to divide into pairs, one listener and one speaker. The listeners were asked to spend three minutes listening to the speaker on climate change – keep eye contact, make encouraging gestures and sounds, but don’t interrupt. Then switch.

Peacemaking with "the Other"

Peacemaking with "the Other"

by Paul Chaffee

What does living life as an ‘interfaith activist’ mean? Millions have joined the cause in recent months, so we can well ask ourselves: What do interfaith activists share in common within our own communities and in the world? A quick, simplistic answer might be that all of us are striving towards peacemaking with ‘the other.’

Finding Power in Ribbons

Finding Power in Ribbons

A TIO Report

The United Nations is perhaps the most diverse ‘community’ in the world, and yet in its early years it was adverse to anything ‘religious.’ Wasn’t their territory – until Robert Muller (1923-2010), Assistant Secretary-General of the UN for 40 years, slowly brought his interfaith-friendly influence to bear in this family. He is credited with helping the United Nations and its global representatives grow past their religious phobia.

All I Have Is a Voice

All I Have Is a Voice

by Marcus Braybrooke

The row over reading verses of the Qur’an in a Cathedral in Scotland has, I gather, reached across the Atlantic. Certainly the Cathedral has had a lot of abusive online messages from the U.S.A. During an Epiphany service at the Cathedral a Muslim law student was invited to read the Qur’anic account of the birth of Jesus, which also says, as Muslims believe, that Jesus was a prophet but not divine.

Ruminations on Em-Powerment

Ruminations on Em-Powerment

by Frederica Helmiere

After my second child was born, I found myself yearning for a hearty dose of vocational discernment. Perhaps it was the presence of this new little life in our home that compelled me to reassess my own life’s calling, or perhaps it was a general growing dissatisfaction with my work that I could no longer ignore.

Beating a Message of Peace in Uganda

Beating a Message of Peace in Uganda

by Vicki Garlock

In a country often known for unspeakable violence and political strife, Buyondo Micheal offers a beacon of hope to those desperately seeking peace. As founder of Faiths Together Uganda (FTU), Micheal uses dance, music, and art to unify and delight. Inspired by global interfaith initiatives, he provides the funding and the energy for events that cross religious, cultural, and tribal divides.