1. Praying Together in Jerusalem
170 Christians, Muslims and Jews came to participate in the “Praying Together for Constructive Conflict in Jerusalem” at Tantur Ecumenical Institute last Sunday, to launch the week of Constructive Conflict in the Holy Land. Elijah Interfaith is a founding partner in the Praying Together in Jerusalem movement, which hosted the event.
People arrived from as far afield as Nablus and Tel Aviv as well as all the suburbs and surrounding towns of Jerusalem. It was an ambitious event. We operated in four languages (Hebrew, Arabic, English and French). There were components of prayer and study. For many of the participants, it was their first interfaith and intercultural event and they were not quite sure what to expect. The excitement grew as the crowd built up.
2. Praying together in Cameroon – 10th Anniversary of the December 21st Tragedy
Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders, Dr. Adamou Ndam Njoya, plays a key role in peace-making in his country, Cameroon, where he is a religious leader, political activist and academic. He recently was central in an important event, where Christians and Muslims prayed side-by-side.
Every year on the 21st of December, Christians and Muslims who are engaged in the dialogue for peace in Cameroon, organize an ecumenical prayer. They are commemorating a tragic event by coming together in love.
3. Praying together in Tabgha – Interreligious Friendship Finds Expression
The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee, the church in northern Israel on the site where Christians believe Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes, was reopened to pilgrims recently, 20 months after an arson attack by Jewish extremists. Two rooms of the church were vandalized and badly damaged in June 2015.
The re-building was financed in part by a crowd-funding campaign organized by the Elijah Interfaith Institute, under the leadership of Alon Goshen-Gottstein. As a sign of the friendship built by his response, Alon was invited to participate in the re-opening ceremony.
Mishna 5:20 “Any dispute which is for the sake of Heaven will ultimately endure, and one which is not for the sake of Heaven will not ultimately endure. What is a dispute for the sake of Heaven? This is a debate between Hillel and Shammai. What is a dispute not for the sake of Heaven? This is the dispute of Korach and his assembly.”
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Wisdom enables us to become mindful of the memories and impressions that condition our response to the world. Wisdom enables to respond to the world, not from the dualism of like and dislike, love and hate, but from a vision of the unity of existence and the seeing of the limitless in all beings. Wisdom frees us from responding to the world on the basis of historically formed memories and enables us to do so on the basis of compassion. – Anantanand Rambachan