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November 2017

Opening Doors to Africa

Opening Doors to Africa

by Paul Chaffee, Editor

What we don’t know we oversimplify. As a pre-teen, I had a few desolate images of India – a really hot climate, vast arid deserts, cows wandering down city streets, and overwhelming poverty. Little more.

Donna Bollinger Tapped to Lead Religions for Peace-USA

Donna Bollinger Tapped to Lead Religions for Peace-USA

by Paul Chaffee

She was raised in a home on a dirt road in rural western North Carolina, without indoor plumbing or a telephone. The family lived off the land and had never sent a child to high school before. Asked if there was some seminal moment, a particular experience as a youngster that influenced her for the rest her life, Donna Bollinger says “Yes!” 

15 Facts on African Religions

15 Facts on African Religions

by Jacob K. Olupona

1. African traditional religion refers to the indigenous or autochthonous religions of the African people. It deals with their cosmology, ritual practices, symbols, arts, society, and so on. Because religion is a way of life, it relates to culture and society as they affect the worldview of the African people.

Interfaith Themes in Sub-Saharan African Tales (for Kids)

Interfaith Themes in Sub-Saharan African Tales (for Kids)

by Vicki Garlock

Interfaith engagement serves as a near-constant reminder that the central teachings of the world’s belief systems are more similar than different. This is especially true when working with kids. For centuries, adults have taught important life lessons through stories, handed down from generation to generation.

Despina Namwembe and Grassroots Interfaith in Africa

Despina Namwembe and Grassroots Interfaith in Africa

A TIO Interview

Despina Namwembe is a force of hope to be reckoned with when it comes to grassroots interfaith work in Africa. A social scientist with a masters in peace and conflict studies, she coordinates the work of more than 30 grassroots interfaith organizations doing different social action projects in the Great Lakes countries of Africa.

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.

Doing "God's Work" in Tanzania

Doing "God's Work" in Tanzania

by Daniel Bellerose

Bumping down the red dirt roads in East Africa, my wife and I made our weekly voyage to the city of Iringa. Our driver was Eliah, a biologist, birder, and devout Christian with a kind smile and a wonderful mind. After four months in Tanzania, I had developed an interest in interfaith development and decided to ask him his opinion of my work.

When All Roads Lead to Morocco

When All Roads Lead to Morocco

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

In a quest to uncover and promote interfaith engagement around the globe, many roads have led me – unexpectedly – to Morocco, a monarchy ruled by a young king. One of the most liberal Muslim countries in the Middle East, Morocco reflects a unique culture of Arabindigenous Berber, Sub-Saharan African, and European influences and simultaneously supports a refreshing integration of ancient traditions with a modern outlook.

A Pagan's Adventures in Egypt

A Pagan's Adventures in Egypt

by Don Frew

In 2005, I attended the annual meeting of the Global Council of the United Religions Initiative. That year, it was held at a retreat center near Seoul, South Korea. One day, we took a long bus ride to the Buddhist monastery of Haensa, during which I sat with Monica Willard, URI’s representative at the United Nations.