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28 October 2014
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Moya Grady
Moya Grady

Heirs of Abraham

By Moya Grady
Channel Islanders have recently been opening their minds to different religions when the Channel Islands' first Interfaith Conference took place at Les Côtils Centre, Guernsey from 27 to 29 May 2005.


Imam Ibrahim Hewitt
Imam Ibrahim Hewitt

The conference was devised and hosted by Les Côtils Centre Manager, Paul Chambers, and was co-chaired by the Very Rev, Canon Paul Mellor, the Anglican Dean of Guernsey.

It was an innovative ‘first’ bringing together leading speakers; Rev. Garth Hewitt, Rabbi Niles Elliot-Goldstein and Iman Ibrahim Hewitt from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths.The conference was attended by 70 delegates; I travelled to Guernsey at the invitation of Paul Chambers, Les Cotils' Manager.

Rabbi Niles Elliot-Goldstein
Rabbi Niles Elliot-Goldstein

On arrival on Friday evening, delegates had an opportunity to sample a traditional halal buffet, courtesy of the local Muslim restaurants. This was followed by the formal introductions from the speakers, who shared their own journeys of faith.

On the Saturday morning members of the Jewish Community celebrated their Sabbath before the commencement of the daily programme, in which the Muslim, Jewish and Christian  speakers engaged in dialogue; looking at how we can all build bridges rather than burn then and how we can inform, inspire and break down the barriers of ignorance between the rich traditions of the faiths who find their roots in Abraham.

Rev. Garth Hewitt
Rev. Garth Hewitt

Over the weekend, the delegates were invited to listen to the speakers discussing a range of topics including :

The Common Roots of the Three Major Faiths

The shared causes of: Humanity & Justice, Politics and Human Rights.

Peace Building

Can interfaith dialogue be used as an effective tool to advance Peace Building around the world? "Peace is Possible because it is God's dream that we live amicably together as brothers and sisters, side by side because we belong to God's family." (Desmond Tutu)

Journeying On

In a world of anti-semitism and Islamaphobia, the concluding session looked at the foundations to establish trust and understanding - confirmation of differences - yet to explore the ways in which  the message of different faiths can benefit people from other religions in the same community.

The delegates were encouraged to participate in the discussions with formal Question and Answer sessions, but many delegates also took advantage of the coffee, lunch and tea breaks to engage in informal questioning with members of the panel.

The main purpose of the conference was not about being right, but about building bridges, as an important step forward in creating  a better respect and understanding between faiths.

In concluding the conference, everyone, born from the panel of speakers and the delegates, deemed that the conference had been an overwhelming success, exceeding all expectations.

It is hoped that a further conference will be organised at Les Côtils Centre in 2006.

last updated: 17/08/05
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Prof. Abne Eisenberg
Linguistic obstacles to ariving at a universal consensus of faith can usually be traced to semantics; i.e., the correlation between what people say and think and what they actually do.

Howard
Any chance of an atheist being invited next time? If I can't convince people to give up their faiths, I would like to ask practitioners to at least acknowledge the potential downside of faith.

CANDYMAN MESSIAH
THE PROPHET 5 WAS THE BEGINING, AT LEAST OUR BELIEF SHOWS US THE WAY IS THE ONLY WAY TO THE TRUE TEXTS OF DOCTRINE OF TRUTH. MAY YE ALL BE BLESSED WHO READ AND BELIEVE.

Gino Risoli
A mistake of most organized religions is that they hold the prophets to be more important than the message. Prophets were and are highly enlightened people for there time, similarly there are prophets today that speak of today’s God and what God wants but this new theoligy does not suit organized religions because they would feel threatened by new beliefs. You see religions are organizations like any other with a hierarchy to protect.

yaqub masih
I feel very good that such awareness is promoted.I feel very strongly that to bring people of Abraham to one true religion is very important.We need to know who was and is the God of Abraham, Moses, Guru Nanak and other religions of the world.I have found the anser to this question. I found the doctrine of this great God,who is same yesterday,today and tomorrow.

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