The National Youth Assembly…

1. Believes that the church should do more to combat stereo-typical views of what Christians are like and understand that all faiths have extremists, including Christianity. There is a need to extend education about all faiths to avoid stereo-typing based on biased media reporting.

2. Thinks that there should be more Inter-Faith gatherings and conferences at local, national and international levels, with better advertising to increase awareness of this work and its importance.

3. Consider consulting with local police forces and outside agencies to ascertain priority areas where Inter-Faith dialogue is required.

4. Encourages the use of Inter-Faith meals as a means of sharing faith and belief to build meaningful relationships while being sensitive to other customs.

5. Encourages the Church of Scotland to promote Inter-Faith Dialogue overseas in areas such as Israel/Palestine and Africa.

6. Challenges local churches to extend loving friendship and conversation to people of other denominations and faiths and to love their neighbours regardless of faith or absence of faith. We should accept people for who they are, treat them with respect, and never pity.  When talking with anyone we should have no agenda for converting them.

7. Encourages the Church of Scotland to offer more practical support to congregations engaging in Inter-Faith relationships. This could include an expansion of the role of Inter-Faith workers and the development of a volunteer network.

8. Encourages the Church of Scotland to recognise the values which we share with other faiths and which should inform and encourage practical work on issues such as poverty, conflict resolution and justice. Faith groups should work together for increased dialogue with all levels of government.

9. Are aware that ignorance breeds prejudice whereas knowledge breeds understanding.  It’s crucial to build lasting relationships before tackling religious issues. We need to be educated about other faiths and try to educate other faiths in what we believe and why we believe it, promoting mutual understanding.

10. Encourages the Church of Scotland to reach out to those who feel threatened and fearful of new cultures and religions in their area in the hope that such feelings won’t escalate.

11. Would like the church to consider ways in which communities can have dialogue with people of other faiths while being careful to avoid tokenism and condescension.

12. Encourage ongoing Religious Education programmes in schools with the involvement of churches and other faith groups, as part of commitment to promoting understanding about different faiths among wider society.

13. Encourage Inter-Faith dialogue at all levels of the church, including opportunities for people from other faith communities to speak to churches about their beliefs.

14. Want to encourage ecumenical discussions so that Christians of all denominations can work to improve inter-faith relationships.


~ by iainmclarty on November 3, 2009.

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