Interfaith activity is the corner stone of any society to build mutual understanding and friendships. We are proud to have supported and engaged many people to set up dialogue activities and groups.
Several dialogue groups and interfaith projects have been established, over the years. This includes the St Philip’s Centre, which has grown with the participation of many LCOF members.
The World Congress of Faith
The World Congress of Faiths is an Individual Membership Charity made up of members of all faiths, and none, who have an interest in spiritual dialogue and learning.
Interfaith Dialogue groups
Interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive, and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions (i.e., “faiths”) and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels. Throughout the world there are local, regional, national and international interfaith initiatives; many are formally or informally linked and constitute larger networks or federations. The often quoted “There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions” was formulated by Hans Küng, a Professor of Ecumenical Theology and President of the Global Ethic Foundation. Interfaith dialogue forms a major role in the study of religion and peacebuilding.
The increasing religious diversity of the UK means that inter faith engagement is ever more important. The conversations that take place between people of different faiths and beliefs are at the heart of this.
It is through talking to one another that we begin to explore, understand and eventually act. Such conversation, or ‘dialogue’, is a vital part of building the mutual respect, understanding and cooperation that benefits all.
Local Interfaith Groups bring people of different faiths together in dialogue to discuss current issues, historical problems or matters of local concern. Below are some of Leicester’s Interfaith Dialogue groups:
Cross and Crescent group
Council of Christians and Jews
Human Values Day Walk with Values
Human Values day takes place in April every year. It is a non-monetary walk (walkathon) to raise awareness about the values buried within each of us, values that are the very core of our human nature. The five main human values, as identified for us by Sathya Baba are:
- Love: caring, compassion, forgiveness, enthusiasm, devotion.
- Peace: contentment, humility, patience, self-confidence, self-respect.
- Truth: honesty, integrity, optimism.
- Non-violence: gentleness, consideration, co-operation, equality, cultural respect.
- Right-conduct: gratitude, perseverance, determination, responsibility, sacrifice, courage, duty and ethics.
Inter faith Week
Inter Faith Week always begins on Remembrance Sunday, and runs until the following Sunday each year. Inter Faith Week’s aims are to:
- Strengthen good inter faith relations at all levels
- Increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the City, in particular celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society
- Increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs
Multi Faith Iftar
Every year, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, AK Gheewala, the committee and the congregation of Masjid Al Falah Mosque, open their doors and host a multi faith Iftar (Fast Breaking).
A meal is held to enhance friendships between Muslims and people who follow other beliefs. This meal is attended by the City and County Council civic dignitaries, statutory authorities and representatives from many other different faiths or beliefs.
Suleman Nagdi, spokesperson for the FMO said “In an uncertain world, we can do our bit through communal meals, dialogue or other engaging activities to help build bridges across all our communities”.
Visit My Mosque Day
Visit My Mosque Day is a yearly event that sees mosques across the City open their doors to people of all faiths.
The aim of the annual event is to welcome individuals of various backgrounds to learn more about Islam, all the while forging stronger connections between different religious communities.
The initiative has grown substantially over the past few years, with more than 200 mosques across the UK set to take part in the annual event.
Holocaust memorial day Commemoration
Leicester Council of Faiths, together with the County and the City Council & the University’s Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, are the sponsors of the City’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration, held on the 27th January each year.
Normally, this annual event is held in the University’s Fraser Noble Hall, but this wasn’t possible for 2020 or 2021 for obvious reasons. Instead this was held as a a virtual commemoration – please see attached for 2021’s event details.
Women’s Interfaith group
includes women from Christian, Baha’i, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist faiths.
These gatherings are hosted in the ladies homes, they take turns and invite their friends. A topic on a Faith issue is agreed and each representative gives few minutes presentations, followed by discussions and they share a vegetation meal (each ladies brings a dish to help the host). These meetings help the ladies to learn more about other faiths and communities and create a united and safe environment for everyone who takes part.
Leicester Council of Faiths stands against all forms of Hate Crime and Racism. We actively support organisations and activities in Leicester that work against this, such as:
Racial Equality Council – The Race Equality Centre Leicester & Leicestershire | TREC
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust – Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (hmd.org.uk)
Hate Crime Awareness Week
Photo: Rabbi Shmuli-Pink (L), Suleman Nagdi (R)
17-24-30 NationalHCAW encourages the authorities (Police and Councils), key partners and communities affected by hate crime to work together to tackle local hate crime.
The week of action takes place between the second to third Saturday in October each year.
It aims to bring people together to stand in solidarity with those affected by hate crime, to remember those we have lost, and support those who need ongoing support.
They run an annual campaign promoting H.O.P.E.
- Hate crime awareness– running awareness events to increase public knowledge.
- Operational responses to hate crime– encouraging people to think about how they would respond if hate crime happened to someone they know.
- Preventing hate crimewhere possible.
- Empowering communitiesto report hate crime and work together.
#WeStandTogether #NoPlaceForHate #SafePlaceForAll #NationalHCAW