The All Faiths Network held its yearly Interfaith Week event to celebrate religions in their diverse manifestations as well as demonstrate how religions can work together. This year brought us new challenges with a UK-wide lockdown and many months of disrupted society, so we went on-line to hold a memorable and uplifting 2-hour event. AFN members were determined to rise above all these issues and show that religious communities contribute so much to breaking through the negative surrounding us to bring about a better world.
Martin Weightman, AFN’s Director said, “Our theme was to show that the creativity of the spirit and an understanding that we are much, much more than just a physical existence can bring us to overcoming barriers imposed through lockdown. To this end we not only held a stunning series of performances through our on-line concert but also released a book ‘People of Faith Rising Above Covid-19’ showing how religious and cultural communities have worked to overcome these problems. The e-book will be available in the next days and the hard copy soon after. Faiths working together is a natural for people with good hearts and thoughts.”
Religions of many faiths and cultures were brought together through creative performance and prayer. Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Scientology, Sikh, Buddhist and many more explored African, Asian and Western cultures through their own spiritual visions. We heard Arabic devotional poetry, a Buddhist Zen sutra, a Scientology Prayer of Freedom, divine gospel, Jewish psalms, Islamic prayer, not to mention a cultural dance piece spanning 5 African countries by Ateker International Development Organisation (AIDO). Our youth were represented too with Hindu classical dances, Hindu children in prayer and accomplished young Sikh percussionists. The concert will be available soon through the All Faiths Network website.
Tracey Coleman, AFN’s Events Manager praised all the performers and those who gave prayers. She said, “Tonight we united in the beauty of faith, culture, music and dance. What struck me – was the sheer ability that faith and culture have in lifting up a human being from the problems of life. Celebration of Faith transcends the material world into a realm of higher creativity, aesthetics and beauty.”
Response was phenomenal.
“This has been an evening of one WOW moment after another. What a rich composition of cultures, religions and traditions. Thank you.”
“Wonderful presentation”, “amazing prayer”, “Beautiful Song”, “wow what a moving event”, “Great event, just amazing to see everyone”, “message of peace, love”, “Thankyou for your beautiful hopeful poem”, “event is really amazing with various voices and full of love for humanity”, “profound and prophetic”, “Superb”, “Beautiful colours of Human Race”, “Incredible”, “keep your faith. keep your culture. Fantastic”.
“Congratulations to all for this virtual meeting to celebrate the Interfaith week. So timely in these challenging times”
“May this meeting of good people contribute to mitigating the hatred and bring people of all different faiths ever closer”
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Events Manager on 07979750293
List of people appearing:
1. Opening by Director All Faiths Network, Martin Weightman and Events Manager, Tracey Coleman
2. Welcome from Mayor of Slough, Cllr Preston Brooker
3. Ragasudha Vinjamuri, Indian Classical Dance, Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence
4. Dr Shiekh Ramzy: Muslim prayer
5. Rebecca Seehatorah, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, devotional song
6. Dotetsu Zenji: Zen Sutra
7. Abdul Basit Syed, World Humanitarian Drive: Poetry
8. Ashley Beck, Interfaith Development Officer of the Interfaith Network: short address
9. Sarah Eicker, Director Fitzroy House: short address
10. Rabbi Jeff Berger: Jewish prayer
11. Sheik Rahman, Ahmadiyya Moslem introduces: Arabic poetry
12. Jaffira Naqvi: Urdu poetry and English translation
13. Introduction of the new book written by members of AFN “People of Faith Rising Above COVID-19”
14. Mike Rickets Church of Scientology: Prayer for Total Freedom
15. Alessandro Amicarelli. Chairman of European Federation of Freedom of Belief: Talk on freedom of religion.
16. Sardarni Navleen Kaur introduced: Sikh children in devotional music
17. Ashwin Soni introduced: Hindu children prayer
18. Rev. Precious Toe: Gospel song
19. Rabinder Sohil Singh: Sikh prayer
20. Hindu prayer
21. Rabbi Jeff Berger: Singing Psalm 23
22. Filda Brawn Lolem from Ateker International Development Organisation introduces: music and dance from different African and European chapters.