Report on the International Conference on Cohesive Societies

Marcus Braybrooke recently visited Singapore for the International Conference on Cohesive Societies.
He reports:
'Many Communities, One Shared Future': Singapore 19-21 June
King Abdullah II says interfaith is top priority

'Every global challenge in this 21st century demands that we resist hatred and exclusion,' King Abdullah II of Jordan said in his opening address to last week’s International Conference on Cohesive Societies (ICCS), held last week in Singapore, 'Economic growth, peacemaking, protecting the environment, global security, inclusive opportunity—all these critical goals require that people of faith cooperate, and combine our strengths to our common benefit. The vast majority of people on earth are members of a spiritual community. Each has its own traditions and convictions. But our world religions also have something profound in common—the commandment to show compassion and respect for others.'

The King denounced those 'who preach a hate-filled message about Islam.' Hate speech and violence is a threat to all humanity, he said, and this is why interfaith co-operation should be a top priority.

The President of Singapore - the world’s most diverse society - stressed the importance that the government attached to social cohesion. The thousand participants from across the world saw many good examples of this.

Karen Armstrong, a historian of World Religions, Lord Alderdice, Marcus Braybrooke, President of the World Congress of Faiths and some members of the Faith and Belief Forum, who took part in the programmes for young people, were among those from Britain who participated.

See further www.rsis.edu.sg


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