Northern Ireland Interfaith Forum


Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) brings internationals to the West Bank to experience life under occupation. Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace.

A former local man, Ian Bell, has just returned from a three month placement as an EA in the Qalqiliya District of the West Bank.  Based  in the village of Jayyus with three fellow EAs from South Africa, Argentina and Germany, Ian has had first hand experience of the destructive effects of military occupation and the stifling of economic life and personal freedoms.  Ian grew up in Northern Ireland and was educated at Friends School Lisburn and Queens University Belfast.  After a long career in international education he has spent more than two decades working for human rights and the development of civil society in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East.

Ian is to be in Northern Ireland from 6th February to 19th February, 2012 inclusive and is to speak at a number of meetings arranged by several local  organisations interested in hearing about the current situation in Palestine.   Some of these meetings will be open to the public and a list of them is given below.

8th February 1.30 p.m

St. Mary's University College
191 Falls Road,Belfast
BT12 6FE

12th February 7.00 p.m.

Combined Churches Service
Dunmurry Presbyterian Church
Kingsway, Dunmurry
Belfast, BT17

18th February 7.00 p.m. Clonard Residents' Office
148 Springfield Road
Belfast 12

Combination of B.R.N.(Belfast Reconciliation Network),
a local Palestinian Support Group, and interested individuals.

If you would like any further information, please contact Ian's brother, Alan,  at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone :- 028 90610274

Report on Inter-Faith Panel in Stormont

Allan Leonard has provided a report on the panel discussion held in Stormont on 21st November:

Hi Edwin,

I enjoyed myself at the panel discussion last night -- a successful event I think!

Firstly, here's the link to the photos that I took. If you require even higher resolution, just let me know:

I've posted an article on my personal website ( as well as on Slugger O'Toole (where it will hopefully generate some


Meanwhile, I would be grateful if you could direct your members and friends to my work project, Our Future Together, where I have also posted the article:

Indeed, if you could get individuals to sign up to the Our Future Together website, the better!

And if you're interested in setting up a Group on the site for the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum, tell me. Coordinating the activities of good relations organisations in Northern Ireland is the raison d'être of the site.

Best regards,


Allan Leonard

Director, Northern Ireland Foundation

Faith & Neuroscience

Faith & Neuroscience

Click here for Prof Ingrid Allen's presentation given at the 5th December meeting. (Need Microsoft Powerpoint viewer for this).

Inaugural Lunchtime Lecture

On 10th October 2011 the Inter-Faith Forum began a series of lunchtime lectures. The inaugural lecture in the series was given by Dr Colin Harvey from Queen's University Belfast. Dr Colin Harvey is Professor of Human Rights Law, Head of the Law School and a member of Senate at Queen’s University Belfast.

Click here to read his lecture.