Interfaith Peacebuilding


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Interfaith Programs

Interfaith Dialogues in Barbados

Bridgetown, Barbados - Dialogues with three religious communities took place in early January in preparation for an interfaith rally on Jan. 22, 2011.

The Barbados National Peace Council engaged the Hindu fraternity in dialogue at their temple on January 5. Originally this exercise was to have taken place on January 2, but because of the various activities at the beginning of the year it was postponed.

Those who attended were treated to information about Hinduism. The pundit explained the rudiments of the faith as well as its fundamental structure. NGO leaders, Christian representatives, and others were in attendance. Many questions were asked as the audience was very captivated with the explanations of the various statues in the temple. The session lasted for three hours, with an overwhelming amount of knowledge shared. A suggestion was made to have another dialogue before the end of the month. Six persons were appointed Ambassadors for Peace. The pundit agrees with the proposal for an interreligious body within the UN system.

On January 12, a meeting took place with a group of Rastafarian brothers at the historic national museum; information was shared about the teachings and beliefs of the organization. The four members of that organization who were present expressed with passion their ideas, goals, and aspirations. The dialogue became very intense and captivating. This organization sees a need for an interreligious body within the UN. The discussion had to be curtailed, however, as the President of Barbados National Peace Council, Rev. Peter Oscar Phillips, began experiencing chest pains. The following day he was admitted to hospital with heart problems.

While being a patient at the hospital, Rev. Phillips was given an invitation to attend a dialogue about different religions organized by the Independent Spiritual Christian Faith. Members from the Barbados National Peace Council attended the all-day session on January 21, along with people of other faiths. The bishop of this church said that his organization should partner with the Barbados National Peace Council to accelerate unity among the religious faiths on the island. Speakers talked about the importance of working together and setting realistic goals as a unified body. At the end every person present was presented with a copy of the UPF Founder's autobiography

Note: On January 3, executive members of Barbados National Peace met with the secretary of the Muslim community to organize a date for an interfaith dialogue. Even though much was planned, it never materialized. The Muslims withdrew after learning that the Jewish community would be involved in the discussion; neither group participated in the dialogues.

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