Dear friends of Religions for Peace
Let me begin by wishing you all that is good for 2014 and beyond and thank you for your continued support to the UK chapter of Religions for Peace.
We have many plans for 2014, so aside from your financial support we also need volunteers to help with our plans for this year and beyond.
While the nation will be commemorating 2014/18 war, Religions for Peace UK are planning structure building and through our strengthened framework we can ventureforward to focus on issues to promote human rights, arms control, restoring dignity of women, meeting the needs of the youth and tackling the issue “can war offer a solution”, reminding ourselves what David Miliband our former Foreign Secretary had said; "While there are military victories there never is a military solution,"
The structures we are proposing to build, (subject to funding and administrative assistance)
UK Women of Faith Network
UK Interfaith Youth Network
Multifaith Committee on Arms Control
Multifaith Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief
And as always we will play our part by debating challenging issues related to justice and nonviolence, while at the same time reminding ourselves of the sacrifices people make for one another.
The theme of the World Assembly was “Welcoming The Other”. We believe it is important to look at the positive side of humanity and the driving force behind those who are willing to sacrifice or endanger their own life and livelihood to save the other. We hope to arrange a series of talks given by those who have taken such risks.
We are the UK chapter of Religions for Peace which is global institution. We possess the facility and also the responsibility to work with the huge network of partners within the international Religions for Peace family and others to tackle the issue of peace at every level of our society.
The deeply held values common to all people of faith and none are the bases of a peaceful and harmonious society, therefore it is vital that these values are not only remembered but put into action as per our motto Different Faiths – Common Action.
We shall be seeking support from specialist secular organisations dealing with these issues to support and promulgate the deeply held convictions of faith communities.
The declarations of our sister organisation, the European Council of Religious Leaders (http://www.rfp-europe.eu/ ) reminds us of our commitments;
“..A flourishing society in which the creativity of communities is encouraged to the benefit of all.” ECRL Sarajevo Declaration 2012
“..we, as leaders of Europe’s diverse religions, pledge: To work individually and together and with all people of good will to ensure that human rights recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention and subsequent agreements and their corresponding responsibilities, are realised and thus secure for all human beings their freedom and dignity which find their roots in the Divine..” ECRL Moscow declaration
Our website www.religionsforpeace.org.uk is coming on stream, but we still need help in keeping it up to date and make furthr improvements, any offers and suggestions would be most welcome.
May I take this opportunity to thank our Executive Committee for the support and guidance. Especially to our secretary David Horner who has been most helpful in keeping us all informed, and Ms Cinde Lee for the work she has been doing on the website and quietly behind the scenes with helping organise events etc.
We are a small band of volunteers, yet I'm sure with your support we shall slowly but surely move forward in our common task.
You will be receiving a detailed report on our activities for 2013 from our secretary David Horner, in the meantime do keep a watchful eye on our website for forthcoming events, lectures and general information.
I look forward to hearing from each of you, with your suggestions for activities and how we can further raise the profile of Religions for Peace UK to ensure greater support and involvement from people of faith and none, for one does not have to be religious to work on issues of peace.
I thank you for your support, and wish you would get in touch, or join us as member. Hoping to hear from you soon.
With love and peace