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Euro Imams, Rabbis Pledge Zero Tolerance for Hate Preachers

British Imam Abdul-Jalil Sajid (in white) seated next to Yitzhak Halba, the Chief Rabbi of Turkey and Mustafa Ceric, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photo by Alan Azaria from Ha’aretz.

by Tom Heneghan and Nicholas Vinocur
from Reuters

PARIS (Reuters)- Seventy European Muslim and Jewish leaders pledged on Wednesday to show “zero tolerance” to hate preachers of any faith including their own ranks, citing what they called rising religious intolerance on the continent.

Imams, rabbis and community leaders from 18 countries agreed to jointly counter bigotry against Jews and Muslims and combat legal threats to common religious practices such as circumcision of boys and the kosher and halal ritual slaughter of animals.

The two-day meeting brought together Muslim-Jewish teams from around Europe to compare experiences in fighting religious prejudice and report on recent trends against minority faiths.

There have been several attacks on Jews in Europe this year, some from radical Muslims. In the worst case, a French Islamist killed a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse last March.

Extreme right-wing political parties are also increasingly agitating against Jews and Muslims, participants in the meeting said.

“We must institute a ‘zero tolerance’ policy against religious leaders of any faith who misuse their pulpits to incite religious bigotry,” they said in a declaration.
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September 15th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

U.S. Southern Baptists Elect First Black President

Fred Luter, newly elected leader of the Southern Baptist Convention.

by Kathy Finn
from Reuters

The largest U.S. Protestant denomination chose its first black president on Tuesday, an historic election for the predominately white religious group as it seeks to better reflect the diversity of the country and its membership.

Fred Luter, a New Orleans pastor and civic leader, ran unopposed for the top post in the 167-year-old Southern Baptist Convention, which counts a growing number of minorities among its 16 million members.

His election to a one-year term was met by thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the thousands of Southern Baptists attending the convention’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

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2009 Parliament Blogged on Reuters

Reuters has just published a blog telling the story of the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions. Unlike many of the overviews that have appeared in the last week, this one was written by Parliament speakers. Paul Knitter is the Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture at Union Theological Seminary and Matthew Weiner is program director at the Interfaith Center of New York.

The writers’ participation in the event has enhanced their reportage; this is a warm and conversational introduction that starts with an account of the original 1893 event ripe with the infectiousness of conversation. It looks forward to the influence and breadth of today’s Parliament.

To read the full blog, click here.