by Marites Guingona-Africa , URI Global Trustee & URI-SEAP Regional Council Chairperson
Last September, in the Southeast Asia Pacific region, the desire for lasting peace in the conflict-prone Mindanao region of the Philippines motivated the Peacemakers’ Circle to take the lead in bringing together peace advocates in Manila in support of those adversely affected by the conflict that had flared up in the wake of the aborted signing of the of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP)... read more
My second trip to China this year was again at the invitation of the Most Venerable Master Chin Kung, founder and spiritual sifu of the worldwide Buddhist Amitabha society. In May, I went with him, his disciples and Malaysian religious leaders on an educational tour of
This time we went to Tangchi, a small rural agricultural town with about 50,000 residents. It is located in Lujiang county,
FAITHS IN HARMONY SOWING PEACE THROUGH PRAYERS, LIGHTS AND SOUNDS
MANILA, PHILIPPINES— The Peacemakers' Circle Foundation, Inc. (PCFI) CC, with the support of the Australian Embassy's Strengthening Grassroots Interfaith Dialogue and Understanding (SGIDU) Program, has been conducting a GRASSROOTS LEADERSHIP TRAINING WORKSHOP ON MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE in four communities in Metro Manila since June 2008. The participating communities are: Maharlika Village in Taguig City, Salam Compound in Culiat, Quezon City, Quiapo in Manila, and Tala in Caloocan City... read more
MANILA, PHILIPPINES-- The Peacemakers' Circle CC, with the help of its network of partners in SOWING PEACE FOR MINDANAO (SPM), the U.S. Embassy in Manila, and the Mindanao Peoples' Caucus, successfully followed up the series of projects and activities they conducted (from August to October) with a dialogue workshop-forum last October 23, 2008. This was entitled: IN SEARCH FOR PEACE IN MINDANAO: Engaging the Moral Imagination in Community Dialogue and Relationship- Building (a leaders' dialogue workshop-forum).
The October 23 workshop-forum was held at the Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City and was hosted by Jasmin N. Galace of the Center for Peace Education of Miriam College. Over one hundred representatives of organizations from various sectors of society--government, media, civil society, academe, religious and interfaith institutions, and the diplomatic community-- attended... read more
Cebu holds big International Day of Peace 2008 celebration
Around 3,000 NSTP-CWTS students from the University of Cebu (UC) were joined by 2,000 from ten other schools and colleges, plus about 500 participants from local government units, civil society groups and non-government organizations... read more
CEBU YOUTH CCs ENGAGE IN PRAYERS FOR MINDANAO ON PEACE DAY
CEBU, PHILIPPINES-- Youth for Peace (Prayers for Mindanao) was a very successful and very heartwarming event for all the participating youths. Giving, Respect, Opportunity, Wisdom, Transcendence & Harmony (GROWTH) CC, in cooperation with Mugna Kabataan (“youth…create!”) CC and supported by the Kalinaw CC, gathered together at the Multipurpose hall around 30-40 youths from the National Service Training Program (NSTP) of the Lyceum of Cebu (LC)... read more
Pakigdait CC Leads the 27th International Day of Peace
LANAO DEL NORTE, Mindanao -- The civil society organisations of Iligan City and Lanao del Norte gave recognition to a member of the peace panel, Prof. Rudy Rodil, at the celebration of the International Day of Peace (IDP). The network of civil society organisations of Iligan City and Lanao del Norte, through the initiative of Pakigdait, Inc. CC-- in partnership with the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD-UK)-- commemorated the Peace Day on September 21, 2008 at the Balay Mindanaw Peace Centre in Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City... read more
We Continue Interfaith & Cultural Solidarity Amid Armed Conflict in Lanao
KOLAMBUGAN, LANAO DEL NORTE, MINDANAO-- It was a moving moment. Christian leaders waited outside the town’s main Mosque in celebration of solidarity with Muslims on the last day of Ramadhan. Muslims were greeted outside the Mosque after they completed their worship (Sambayang) by the Christian leaders with offering of warm embrace, flowers, garlands, and fruits. It highlighted the celebration of the Eid’l Fit’r, the feast signifying the end of the month-long fasting... read more
Sharing our Space: Multi-faith Healing Conference held by COMMON CC
VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA-- In celebration of the UN International Day of Peace 2008 Center for Melbourne Multifaith and Others Network (COMMON) CC successfully organized the annual MULTI-FAITH WEEK that kicked off with a Multi-faith Healing Conference entitled: SHARING OUR SPACE—held on its first day on September 21, 2008... read more
The Bowes Awards were established by the URI to recognize and catalyze innovation and cooperation among Cooperation Circles and the individuals and organizations in their communities. CCs are doing amazing interfaith work throughout the URI community, and the Bowes Awards is to lift up model action projects in each of the eight regions, all which embody the Preamble, Purpose and Principles of URI.
by Marites Africa & Shakun Vaswani
As we take the next steps forward in our journey towards building and strengthening URI in our region, some of us who have journeyed the longest--and have seen how URI in our region has grown through the years-wish to express our gratitude to all the wonderful people in the region who have helped give birth to URI in our part of the world.
In the spirit of gratitude, joy, and love, we have humbly attempted to recognize and honor them--the MOVERS of URI in Southeast Asia-Pacific--by presenting each one of them to the URI global list serve (one person a week in the past few months) with a brief write-up on their invaluable contributions to the URI in our region. We hope you will be inspired, as we have been, by the beautiful and colorful tapestry of diversity and uniqueness that is being created by the efforts and contributions of each precious MOVER in our part of the world. We give you a glimpse of a few of these MOVERS here—the past and present Global Trustees of SEAP…read more
In a world where there is much religious exclusivity and negative religious fundamentalism, the fact that ISKCON opened its doors to the URI GA is amazing and impressive. It shows what friendships across religious barriers can achieve as well as how the “moral imagination” of URI’s global and regional leadership enables diversity to thrive and be honoured and celebrated...
... read more quotes
YLP delegates sharing on the role of the youth in global interfaith action
YLP delegates sharing on the role of the youth in global interfaith action
By Sharon Danisha M. Vaswani*
Who would have thought that a short stay in a little rural town with a population of just over 9,000 in West Bengal, India would have such a profound effect on me?
Not that long ago, my world was amazingly cosmopolitan in comparison to the outlying villages around Mayapur but, I must admit that when I first arrived in Sri Mayapur Dham last November 24, I was surprised at the big complex of the Temple and buildings, all painted pink & white in a garden setting and at the bare foot ISKCON pilgrims walking across the campus silently chanting the Hare Krishna mantra with their prayer beads. Mayapur Dham, 130km north of Calcutta across the Ganges River, is the Spiritual Capital of ISKCON. Considered as one of the most holy and peaceful places in all of India, it amazingly houses over one million pilgrims each year.
Mayapur Dham was also the venue for the Young Leaders Program and the 2nd Global Assembly of the United Regions Initiative held from November 24 to December 6, 2008 where I was privileged to be part of the delegation from the Philippines and experience beautiful and enriching moments... read more
a letter from URI Executive Director,
REV. CANON CHARLES P. GIBBS
The Global Assembly that once unimaginably far off is over. The seeds planted here in these two weeks will grow and bear fruit for decades to come. None of the pilgrims who were privileged to pass this time in Mayapur will ever be the same. And neither will URI. We will be challenged, grow and flourish in ways we can't begin to predict because of all the connections that have been made here by URI's pilgrims of peace from many paths with one purpose.
At one point in our closing ceremony, I found myself in a large circle 300+ people of diverse religions, spiritual expressions, and indigenous traditions from throughout the world as we honored the pilgrims from each region by calling them into the center of the circle, where they were graced by a special song sung by a fellow pilgrim from a different region... read more
This is the third prayer from the eight prayers of Lord Chaitanya sung by devotees. See Lyrics