Faith has always been a bastion for social harmony, no matter the religion, and no matter the times it has been tragically perverted into an apparent touchstone for conflict. We recognise that it is the job of faith organisations to promote harmony and resolve discord. We are pleased to present some examples of such work here. There are many other fine efforts and we encourage readers to let us know of them so we can add them to this list.
All Faiths Network
European Freedom of Religion or Belief Round Table
Mission Statement (Draft)
Solutions for Social Discord Forum (draft title)
The initiative started as having the purpose of contributing to a resolution of the rights, independence and peacefulness of peoples in (but not restricted to) South Asia due to approaches from people of different countries and faiths from this area. However, it is not at all limited to that. The purpose of this forum is to provide a space for a wide range of different individuals and groups to coordinate and work together in order to reach the following goals and actions.
- Develop, create and expand solutions that lay a foundation for improved conditions in life based on respect for one another, moral standards and human rights principles.
This is a solution based and oriented forum. We are proposing, encouraging and creating constructive initiatives directed towards working together to achieve a cooperative climate where rights are respected. The solutions that we are looking to share and coordinate together include, but are not limited to: the application and improvement of basic education, human rights education, moral and ethical education; interfaith activities; social improvement projects (improving infrastructure and social conditions); encouraging ethical and inclusive trade activity between divergent communities, ethnic and religious groups.
- We do not condone in any way human or civil rights abuses though our focus is not to “name and shame” those who commit them. Our focus is to work towards and find resolutions to social problems, which includes human rights issues, and what underlies.
- The groups and individuals joining to this forum commit to develop, as possible, their own contacts to further the purposes of this forum by developing their contacts into government, and society to forward constructive solutions. This is not a political forum and is not to be used to support any political party or to support or forward human rights claims. We will, however, work with people or group that help forward constructive solutions to social problems.
- Not all individuals and groups within this forum will agree on the relative importance of each initiative. It is the choice of each individual or group to show specific endorsement for an action.
- Besides constructive initiatives to solve problems, we need to look at deeper and long-established causes of the problems. To this end we encourage academic enquiry and investigative research into the longer term origins of problems – all with the aim of proposing solutions and initiatives.
- It is our basic contention that contemporary religious organisations have a vital role to play in the resolution of conflict and that principles and precepts of human rights must be applied for the good of all. Furthermore, it is only when religion is being used for the selfish and vested interests of individuals and/or groups that discord is created due to those who pervert the positive intentions of religion.