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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Responding to Terror

24 Mar, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Beneath Big Ben, a lone terrorist carried out a deadly daylight attack at the British Parliament this Wednesday. ISIS claimed responsibility.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby offered prayers and characterized the terrorist as “perverted, nihilistic, despairing,” contrasting him with the devotion shown by those who cared for the injured. Indeed, the Muslim Council of Britain condemned the attack as a perversion and offered prayers for the victims.

The Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Nichols, also offered prayers for the victims, which included a constable, a mother on her way to pick up her children from a local Catholic school, and an American visitor from Utah celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary.

Cardinal Nichols also issued a plea, which points to how terror becomes a threat to the religious freedoms of all, not just our Muslim neighbors:

“Let our voice be one of prayer, of compassionate solidarity, and of calm. All who believe in God, Creator and Father of every person, will echo this voice, for faith in God is not a problem to be solved, but a strength and a foundation on which to depend.” 

As terror represents one man’s “perverted, nihilistic, despairing” version of religion, secular societies might conclude that religion itself is the problem.

Read below for what the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is doing in Britain and worldwide to address this challenge to religious freedom posed by terror.

Brian, RFBF President


Religious Freedom & Business Foundation initiatives in Britain that directly address the challenge posed by terror to religious freedom, include: (1) dissemination of research on the value of faith; (2) interfaith action to build social cohesion; (3) recognition of champions of interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace; and (4) interfaith dialogue at the highest levels.

Research: Value of Faith

The Guardian’s story on our research was shared 18,500 times. By contrast, its headline story announcing that Donald Trump wins presidential election was shared about 17,100 times.

Interfaith Action

We are piloting a social cohesion and enterprise initiative that builds bridges between young adults of different faith backgrounds. Sir Alex Ferguson (of Manchester United) recently helped us celebrate!

Champions of Peace

At the UK Parliament, site of the recent terror attack, we celebrated the significant contributions to religious freedom & peace of Baroness Nicholson and Lebanese industrialist Dr. Fouad Makhzoumi.

High Level Dialogue

RFBF is facilitating high level dialogue in London and Washington DC for interfaith leaders from Indonesia to introduce what they argue is a model of moderate Islam.

Think-and-Do Approach to Advancing Religious Freedom

4 Mar, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you read this I’m en route to Vietnam, Indonesia and South Korea, promoting the foundation’s research, campaigns and practical initiatives on how religious freedom is good for business and its flip side – how business is good for religious freedom.

You can have access to RFBF’s thinking and what we’re doing through the links below …. stay tuned for a trip report.

Brian, RFBF President


Thinking

From how much a religious congregation adds to a local economy to projecting how the world’s wealth will change based on religion, there’s a lot to explore!

 


Campaigning

The FoRB Pledge: (1) You can work here without changing who you are; and (2) the company respects all employees and will not favor certain employees over others.

 


Doing

Empowerment+ puts religious freedom to practice as young adults build bridges across faith lines to help each other develop core spiritual values, find better jobs and start new businesses. Piloting in Manchester for global rollout in 2018.