Amb. Zara Juan

Saturday, July 12, 2014

UPDATE: From religious conflict to an interfaith community: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism.

BusinessMirror - From religious conflict to an interfaith community: "“Religion rejects conflict. Violence in the name of religion is violence against religion.”

Based in Vienna, Kaiciid (the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue) is comprised of a Council of Parties made up of the governments of Austria, Spain and Saudi Arabia, with the Holy See as a founding observer.

Its board of directors includes religious leaders from five leading world religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism), who, together, seek to foster a bottom-up process of engaging and empowering local faith-based organizations and religious leaders in peacekeeping, conflict prevention and development.

The center estimates that eight out of 10 people in the world identify with some form of organized religion and almost all of them are likely to classify themselves as peace-loving individuals.

Sadly, according to bin Muaammar, politicians and extremists have “hijacked” the inherently tolerant and peaceful nature of religious practice for their own—often violent and divisive—ends.

Only through sustained dialogue, he said, can people be empowered to overcome their fear of the “other,” and work toward a more inclusive and tolerant world.

Kaiciid’s entrance onto the global stage is highly opportune, according to a new study by the independent Pew Research Center—which covered 198 countries, accounting for 99.5 percent of the world’s population—social hostilities involving religion are on the rise in every continent, except the Americas.

The report found that “the number of countries with religion-related terrorist violence has doubled over the past six years. In 2012 religion-related terrorist violence took place in one in five countries (20 percent), up from 9 percent in 2007.”

Half of all countries in the Middle East and North Africa experienced sectarian violence in 2012, bringing the total global average of countries facing such hostilities to 18 percent, up from 8 percent in 2007.

In a single year between 2011 and 2012, the number of countries experiencing a very high level of religious hostilities went from 14 to 20. Six of those countries—Syria, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lank and Burma—experienced relatively few hostilities in 2011 compared to 2012.

Things also worsened for religious minorities, according to the study, with 47 percent of the countries studied reporting incidents of targeted abuse of minorities, up from 38 percent in 2011.

“In Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, for example, monks attacked Muslim and Christian places of worship, including reportedly attacking a mosque in the town of Dambulla in April 2012 and forcibly occupying a Seventh-day Adventist church in the town of Deniyaya and converting it into a Buddhist temple in August 2012,” the report’s authors said."

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UPDATE: Ghana rejects religious conflict claims by asylum seekers in Brasil

Ghana rejects religious conflict claims by asylum seekers | Sport | Reuters: "Federal police in Caxias do Sul told Agencia Brasil they expected more than 1,000 Ghana fans to request asylum after entering the South American country on tourist visas to attend the month-long soccer tournament which ends on July 13.

However, Ghana's Deputy Information Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu said he was surprised that they had raised the issue of religious conflict as the reason they wanted asylum.

"It is one of the most peaceful and stable countries in the world. There is no religious conflict of any nature in Ghana," he told Reuters.

Ghana prides itself on its democratic stability and social harmony relative to other West African states."

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Monday, July 7, 2014

ISLAM: Radical onslaught: Body count mounts as Islamic fanatics wage global war | NEWS.GNOM.ES

Radical onslaught: Body count mounts as Islamic fanatics wage global war | NEWS.GNOM.ES: "From the Middle East to Russia, and from Africa to Asia, the bloody tide of jihad is rising as increasingly fragmented terror groups battle governments and each other for power and property.

Daily reports of the terror group Islamic States of Iraq and Syria/Levant, or ISIS, advancing toward a caliphate in Iraq have supplanted equally horrific news from Nigeria, where Boko Haram slaughtered schoolboys and kidnapped girls to sell into slavery. All the while, terror attacks in the name of Islam have continued in China, where members of the Islamic sect known as Uighurs are suspected of mass stabbing attacks, and Kenya, where the Muslim terrorist group al-Shabaab murdered 48 people a week ago.

 Many of the attacks are from Al Qaeda splinter groups or loose affiliates seeking to spread the message of Shariah law and hatred of the West. What the terrorism hierarchy loses in central coordination, it more than makes up for in global reach."

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HINDUISM: Encyclopaedia of Hinduism’ released. The basic tenet of Hinduism is happiness, health and enlightenment for everyone and suffering, pain and agony for none.

‘Encyclopaedia of Hinduism’ released - The Hindu: "The basic tenet of Hinduism is happiness, health and enlightenment for everyone and suffering, pain and agony for none, said President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday after receiving a copy of ‘Encyclopaedia of Hinduism’ at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The President complimented Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji of Parmarth Niketan, the founder chairman of India Heritage Research Foundation that has brought out the encyclopaedia.

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Mr. Mukherjee said: “If I were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say, search after truth through non-violent means. A man may not believe in God and still call himself a Hindu. Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after truth… Hinduism is the religion of truth. Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of truth we have not known.”

Among the dignitaries present were BJP leader L.K. Advani, Union Minister of Law Ravi Shankar Prasad and Union Minister of Water Resources Uma Bharti."

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BUDDHISM: The Buddhist Punk Reforming Drug Rehab

CLICK LINK TO READ FULL ARTICLE: The Buddhist Punk Reforming Drug Rehab - The Daily Beast: "The Refuge Recovery meeting starts at 10 a.m. Sitting on graffitied, beaten-to-death folding chairs and couches that a former organizer calls “disgusting,” there’s no getting around the smell: an olfactory footprint that’s the culmination of decades of sweaty mosh pits as well as a hint of urine that may or may not be coming from the gender neutral bathrooms, which are next to massive, curbside blue recycle bins that look out of place indoors.

Refuge Recovery is a lot like an AA meeting minus mentions of Him, God, or a higher Power. Instead of 12 steps, there’s a focus on Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths, the  Eightfold Path, and community—what Buddhists call “sangha.” These meetings are the brainchild of Noah Levine, a Buddhist instructor, author, and counselor in Los Angeles."

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CHRISTIANITY: CATHOLIC: Pope to visit Philippines disaster victims by January 2015

Pope to visit Philippines disaster victims - Yahoo News Philippines: "Pope Francis is to visit the Philippines, Asia's bastion of the Catholic faith, in January 2015 to comfort victims of disasters including Super Typhoon Haiyan, local church leaders said Monday.
Specific details of the trip were not released, but Manila's Archbishop Luis Tagle said the pope viewed Asia as crucial in spreading the faith.
Tagle said the pontiff had told him during a recent meeting at the Vatican that "Asia is important for evangelisation".
"The Christian population of Asia may be numerically small but it is significant," he quoted the pope as saying.
The planned visit comes as the Philippines struggles to recover from a series of disasters in 2013 that claimed thousands of lives."

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Be the Peace Leader

Be the Peace Leader
Pray for Peace by Amb Zara Jane Juan

Come & Join Inter-Faith Prayers & Inter-Cultural Dialogue for Peace

Come! Share your Peace! - Ambassador Zara Jane Juan, Sailing for Peace

2012 Video International Day of Peace Vigil by Sailing for Peace

Sailing for Peace Worldwide Peace Vigil

Sailing for Peace Worldwide Peace Vigil
Prayer Vigil for Vatican as Pope expresses sorrow over terrorist attacks and prayed that God will sustain all men of goodwill who courageously roll up their sleeves to deal with the plague of terrorism and this bloodstain which is gripping the world in a shadow of fear and bewilderment

Amb. Zara Jane Juan, Peace Ambassador

Amb. Zara Jane Juan, Peace Ambassador
I choose to be a Missionary of the Interfaith, Interracial, Intercultural Sailing for Peace Program inspired and guided by the discipline and life of the Virgin Mary of the Catholic Church. I am a Catholic, a Lady Datin of the Muslims, a Buddhist in my Healthy Lifestyle and a Hindu in Purifying my Soul. With Free Thinking and Scientific Approach to my Peace Work, my life on the over-all is a whirlwind of Faith and Fate. I refuse donations to my peace work to prevent corruption but rather I decided to live a very simple so that I can fund it personally through my own personal income as Professional Resource Speaker, Author, Visual Artist, Playwright and Director

JESUS CHRIST - 7 LAST WORDS - Lenten Recollection for Christians