Monday, 25 March 2013

Ahmadiyya Peace Symposium 2013

Also in this week's news roundup, Christians and Muslims work towards interfaith dialogue.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Controversial Muslim sect hold worldwide peace symposium in London
A controversial Muslim sect held their annual peace symposium in London on Saturday evening. The conference was held in Baitul Fatuh mosque and was attended by the Khalifa of the sect, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who presented Dr. Boachie-Adjei with a peace prize and a cheque for £10,000 in honour of his charity work as part of a medical team in Ghana. 

The Khalifa also delivered an address in which he stressed the need for international peace. Following unrest in Syria, the Khalifa noted how the Syrian rebel's recent demand to be sold more weapons, rather than given conventional 'aid', failed to 'inspire confidence' in their ability to form a peaceful government. The Khalifa also noted that instead of a western military intervention - which could be criticised as 'imperialism' - the conflict could perhaps be resolved by Syria's Arab League neighbours working towards peace. The Khalifa also condemned the recent aggressive rhetoric of North Korean leaders as 'trigger happy' and warned against the use of 'non-conventional weapons' in future wars. 

Notable guests at the event included MPs, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon and the ambassadors of several countries. 

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, who number over 10 million worldwide, remain a controversial messianic movement among Islamic sects and have been declared heretics by many Muslim leaders and even the Pakistan government.

Earlier in the day, Ahmadi activists had trended the phrase 'Islam Ahmadiyya' on Twitter and it reached fifth in trends worldwide, while topping the lists in the UK and Germany, coming second in Indonesia, third in Canada and fifth in Pakistan.

Christian share of world population percentage drops
The percentage share of Christians in the world population has decreased in the last century dropping from 35% to 32%, according to recently released statistics from the Pew Forum. Christianity over the last century, on the other hand, has grown substantially in sub Saharan Africa and the Asia Pacific region. It is still by far the world’s largest religion, numbering 2.18 billion with Muslims coming in second with around 25% of the world population by percentage. However in 1910, Europe and America were the home for 93% of the world’s Christian population, a figure which has dropped to 63% today. 

Bomb Plot Foiled in Northern Ireland
A bomb was discovered in a car near Enniskillen, Northern Ireland by police and made safe before anyone was hurt today the 23rd of March. A meeting of the G8 Summit will be taking place in the area in June, when the worlds’ eight biggest economies will meet. The foiled bomb plot has raised security concerns especially as there has been an escalation in activity by dissident republican terrorists and there has been sustained rioting by loyalists recently.

Pope Francis encourages Interfaith Dialogue
Pope Francis sent messages to 180 world leaders, particularly urging them to remember God, to help the poor and to try and build peace. "The role of religion is fundamental. It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God," he said. 

"The converse is also true: it is not possible to establish true links with God while ignoring other people. Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam," added the Pope. 

Francis has also traveled to meet Pope Benedict and both have exchanged gifts. It is the first such meeting in history.

Given his words, the Pope will perhaps have been pleased with the spirit of interfaith harmony shown by members of a Scottish church. Reverend Isaac Poobalan of St John's church in Aberdeen is allowing up to 100 Muslims to use the facilities every Friday, after overflow problems at the local mosque. Over the last few years the Christian and Muslim communities have worked closely together, holding joint prayers at Christmas and reading from both the Bible and the Quran to commemorate the victims of the September 11 attacks. @TayyabaNoor02

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