This is the second year of the Annual Interfaith Awards
The awards were presented yesterday at the launch of "Threads of Compassion - Guidelines for Multifaith and Interfaith Events"
The details of the two awards are below.
If you would like any more information feel free to contact me
This award is to recognise the individual who is deemed to have made the most significant contribution to developing understanding of faith diversity.
This year the award is presented to Margaret McNulty. Margaret has worked for many years with people who are seeking asylum, refugees, migrant workers and people from minority-ethnic backgrounds. She has used every opportunity to raise issues of faith diversity. The recipient has been an active supporter of the Interfaith Forum for very many years and could always be relied on to ask a pertinent question at the end of the meeting.
Margaret works in a voluntary capacity as Information Officer and committee member with EMBRACE and she has ensured that EMBRACE has a link on its web site entitled “Interfaith Understanding”. Here is a short excerpt from what she has written on that site:
“The term ‘inter-faith’ is sometimes used to refer to inter-denominational relationships within Christianity but here we focus on relationships between Christians and members of other world faiths. Christians vary in their attitudes to inter-faith engagement, depending on their own belief systems. Some feel that there are many ways to the one Divine Centre; some that other religions may contain truth but there is no salvation, except through Christ; still more see Christianity as the only true religion. These differing approaches are reflected in the degrees to which Christians are prepared to come together with others, and the boundaries they place on engagement. However, in a world of growing secularism, poverty, oppression, violence, mistrust and fear, many people welcome greater opportunities for encouraging mutual understanding and a possible common approach to some moral and social issues.”
The corporate award is presented to the business or organisation that has made a significant contribution to the development of understanding of faith diversity in Northern Ireland.
The award this year is made to the Community Relations Council (CRC). The CRC is an organisation that was born out of the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland and for many decades tackled some of the most difficult and intractable sectarian issues. However recent years have seen the organisation increasingly broaden its scope to address wider issues of diversity including issues of faith diversity as they are experienced by minority faith communities such as Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and Muslims.
In recent years under the leadership of its chairman, Peter Osborne, we have seen the Community Relations Council take great strides forward in championing the cause of faith diversity in its broadest sense. Community Relations Week this year included many activities and projects that had a multifaith dimension and for those of us on Facebook and Twitter we have been constantly reminded of the very diverse nature of Northern Ireland with constant tweets from Peter.
As well as funding the publication and launch of "Threads of Compassion - Guidelines for Multifaith and Interfaith Events" the CRC also worked very closely with the Interfaith Forum throughout the year in the development of the guidelines. Many staff throughout the organisation were involved in this project - as members of the drafting group, providing administrative support and providing hospitality for meetings.