World Interfaith Harmony Week 2018

2nd Annual Peace Forum on Forgiveness and Reconciliation

The second Annual Peace Forum on Forgiveness and Reconciliation, convened by the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation and hosted at the Nishkam Centre, Birmingham took place on Sunday 4th February 2018.

Religions for Peace UK Vice-Chair Bharti Tailor and Trustee Sheik Ibrahim Mogra together with Ravinder Kaur Nijjar from Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network took part in the second Peace Forum on Forgiveness and Reconciliation.

A video titled ‘Assisi, City of Forgiveness’ was shown to the audience, featuring a speech given by Pope Francis as part of the 800th anniversary of the Pardon of Assisi.

‘How much does it cost us to forgive others?’ the Pope questioned the audience: ‘Have you all thought at times of God’s patience? God never tires of offering us his pardon each time we ask for it.’

Dr Josef Boehle, Director of the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation, spoke about the Charter itself, which will be formally launched towards the end of the year.

Rabbi Dr David Rosen spoke about trauma and wounds and of being touched when Pope John Paul II publicly asked for forgiveness for sins committed against the Jewish community. He described how this gesture ‘opened minds and changed realities for so many people. It created a lot of peace and opened up possibilities of new relations.’ Bharti Tailor, Vice-Chair and Trustee of Religions for Peace UK and panel member, noted that without empathy and true willingness, forgiveness couldn’t be given. She likened this to ‘blowing on a tsunami coming towards you.’

Religions for Peace UK Patron Bhai Sahib, Bhai Mohinder Singh spoke personally about the nature of forgiveness and how this can make you ‘a prisoner’. One has to forgive oneself as well as others. Guests participated in the facilitated conversations and had an opportunity to share their thoughts and contribute to the future of the Charter. Letters of support for the Charter were displayed at the event including one from the Chair of RfP UKWFN.

Closing the conference, Bhai Sahib, Bhai Mohinder Singh said he felt ‘humbled, inspired and motivated’, and stressed on the gratitude he felt that people were able to come together to discuss how forgiveness may bring peace on an individual and worldly level, during a time of ‘severe violence, extremism, pain and suffering.’

Charter Website: http://www.charterforforgiveness.org/

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