Jubilee Debt Campaign Birmingham

Posts Tagged ‘interfaith

Wolverhampton Inter-Faith and Regeneration Network

In association with Wolverhampton World Poverty Action

Invite you to a presentation on Jubilee Debt – a campaign for all faiths

Ø    More than 1.1 billion people survive on less than a dollar a day

Ø    Every day 13 per cent of the world’s population goes hungry.

Ø    Every year about 10 million children die of preventable illnesses – 30,000 a day

On Thursday May 17th at 7.30pm.

In the Austin Room, The Methodist Centre,

24 School Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4 LF

Speakers:

Ruth Tetlow

(Co-ordinator of the Faith Encounter Programme, Secretary Birmingham Jubilee Debt Campaign)
Amrick Singh Ubhi,

Director of the Nishkam Centre, Handsworth, Birmingham

Everyone welcome

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Merryn who has keen interest in all faith communities,  contributes this blog about the LOVE OF MONEY.

It is timely reminder as we prepare for the the  Stand up against Poverty , Islamic Awareness Week and Interfaith Week  in Birmingham

If you have other quotation do please make comments or send in a full blog telling us more .

An old Sunday School chorus rang through my mind the other day and set me thinking.

“Money is the root of all evil (three times), take it away, take it away, take it away”.

In fact it is a miss-quote from Paul’s first letter to Timothy, 6.10 where he says, “Love of money is the root of all evil”, and it is this love of money that is at the heart of the terrible rich/poor divide. World scriptures are united in their attitude to money and caring for the poor. Here is a selection.

Do not race after riches, do not risk your life for success, or you will let slip the Heaven within you. 

Taoism. Chuang Tzu 29

Anyone who is tight-fisted, is tight-fisted only with his own soul. God is open-handed while you are poor.

Islam. Qur’an 47.38

Riches ruin the foolish, but not those in quest of the Beyond. Through craving for riches the ignorant man ruins himself as he does others.

Buddhism Dhammapada 355

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

Christianity Matthew 19. 24

What sort of religion can it be without compassion to all living beings. Compassion is the root of all religious faiths.

Hinduism Basavanna, Vacana 247

Rendering help to another is the function of all human beings.

Jainism Tattvarthasutra 5.2.

At the end of every seventh year you must make remission of debts.

Judaism Deuteronomy 15.1

The accumulation of wealth is the way to scatter the people, and letting it be scattered among them is the way to collect the people.

Confucianism Great Learning 10.9

See to it that whoever enters your house obtains something to eat, however little you may have. Such food will be a source of death to you if you withhold it.

Native American religions. A Winnebago Father’s Precepts

Without selfless service are no objectives fulfilled: in service lies the purest action.

Sikhism. Adi Granth, Maru, M.1,p992.

Not having enough of anything can cause one to become a miser.

African Traditional Religions Yoruba Proverb, Nigeria

Love of money has become the greatest sickness of the rich world’s soul. What can you yourself do to begin the healing of the nations in such great need? An action a day, be it in speaking to others, contacting your politicians, raising money, or your own ideas, could be the beginning of great things.

(P.S. if you come from Yorkshire you’ll know that “Money’s like muck, best be spread”)

The six major faiths of Birmingham have contributed to a documentary showing their concern for global poverty and seeking justice.

We launched the documentary for the project at our AGM on January 18th. Here it is

The launch of the Jubilee Debt Campaign multifaith project has  been very eventfu.l Over the last month we have gained some very useful media coverage l  and entirely unexpected “spin-off”.

One newspaper article led to the reader sending cheque for £100.00 and very encouraging comments about  coming to the Birmingham Human Chain in 1998 and the time she had given in the past to her activism. But now at 97 she had decided to support JDC by giving money rather than demonstrating or lobbying!

In a telephone call from a retired journalist I  was amused to hear him say that in 1997 when we first met and talked about the “Human chain” he  was convinced no more than a few dozen people would turn out on cup final day and that  I was completely mad to even try to get debt cancellation for the world poorest countries. It was rather good to have proved at least one journalist wrong in that 70,000 came  to Birmingham and that jubilee  has acheived so much in the last twelve years.but some would perhaps agree with him that I am completely mad!

The multifaith project attracted new  web-based radio audiences for us in that on December 1st Trans World Radio broadcast half an hour programme entitled “Drop the Debt”.Speaking along side Gordon Brown Stephen Rand and selection of celebs was certainly a new experience for me.The  radio venture  was successful in that more programmes about JDC are planned for the New Year on Vulture funds.

Then out of the blue an Anglo – french film crew arrived on the doorstep to interview Salma Hamid and I about how our faith links to Global Poverty..It will be interesting to see if the film commissioned by an Australian venture actually comes to completion and if Birmingham campaigners get past the cutting room.

What ever the out come it’s all been good fun and the news that we have almost raised £2,000  from private individuals towards the  multifaith project is  encouraging. Donations have ranged from £5.00 to £500.00.

If you can help with a donation  do get in touch  we can provide Gift Aid envelops to maximise your contribution if you are a tax payer. Perhaps you can also provide names of any trusts or charities which might support our work? It good that the word is spreading in so many media outlets and we are getting this positive” spin-off”

Seasons Greetings to you all.

Audrey Miller

Nirankar Singh Bansal is a member of the Sikh community from the Soho Road Gurudwara who has recently joined the local JDC committee. Here he shares why compassion with others and consequently the debt campaigns are important to his community.

The foundation of Faith As Sikhs we are taught that Dharam – ones self-acknowledged moral duty is underpinned by daya – compassion. You may often hear Sikhs refer to their tradition as the Sikh dharam or Sikhi as opposed to the western name Sikhism. The suffix ism denotes a set of beliefs/theories that guide a specific group of people where as dharam, rather than just being a set of theological beliefs ties the belief system with the moral duty a Sikh is never to compromise.

Without compassion a Sikh will be defective in his/her attempt to practice Sikhi. Qualities such as love, humility, selflessness, respect are all rooted in compassion and are common to all faiths. However whether an individual practices a faith or not these qualities should be an integral part of the human psyche. The quality of compassion reminds me of the story of Bhai Kanhaiya Ji.

Bhai Kanhaiya Ji came from a wealthy family but was always spiritually inclined so put less emphasis on his material belongings. Leaving home at a young age he travelled a lot spending time with various Saddhus and mystics in search of spiritual peace. His quest ended when he met the ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (1621-75) and was initiated as a Sikh.

sikh11

Kanhaiya as a young boy in his search for spiritual peace

At the battle of Anandpur in 1704 Bhai Kanhaiya Ji was seen giving water to soldiers on the battlefield, the Sikh soldiers noticed that he was also giving water to the enemy soldiers who would get back up and start fighting again. Annoyed at this the Sikhs went to tell the guru, hearing the news Guru Gobind Singh summoned Bhai Kanhaiya to his darbar – court. When questioned he admitted to giving water on the battlefield but said he didn’t differentiate between friend and foe. As per the Guru’s teachings he said that he recognised the light of God in all and didn’t see whether they were Sikh or Mughal soldiers. Pleased with his Sikh’s answer Guru Gobind Singh openly commended Bhai Kanhaiya for his understanding of Sikh dharam and the teaching of the Gurus.

sihk21

The Guru told all the Sikh soldiers that as long as a Mughal soldier was fighting against justice and truth they were an enemy but as soon as the soldier fell wounded he was no longer an enemy. As a wounded soldier he deserved the same treatment as a wounded Sikh soldier. Guru Gobind Singh gave Bhai Kanhaiya some bandages and ointment and instructed him to see to the soldiers injuries as well as give them water.

This story is a practical and loving reminder that as humans as well as being capable of sharing in another’s happiness we should feel their pain only then can we commit ourselves to helping others.

Jubilee Debt Campaign is actively seeking the support of all faith groups in the city. Over the  last 10 years it has become clear that debt and  poverty reduction in the developing world are issues where faith communities have a shared view.

By concentrating on the things we have in common rather than any differences. JDC is asking leading members of each faith group to set out  their view .

First in this series is one from YANN LOVELOCK

A Buddhist – but a Brummie first.

buddhist-pagoda1

Birmingham Buddhist Peace Pagola

JDC in Birmingham has been an excellent example of interfaith work and a beacon for other regions.

The whole of the Buddhist religion is based on individual morality, individuals working together in a moral way for the good of the wider community.

This encompasses a balance between compassion and wisdom, founded on generosity.

The Buddha’s era coincided with the beginning of the capitalist system. The Buddha counselled kings on the necessity for economic justice and had bankers as his disciples; some key spiritual metaphors are drawn from banking!

His teaching embraces relationships, eg between husband and wife or within the family or between employer and employee, and these are seen as templates for creating social welfare and harmony. It covers financial responsibility and mutual respect. He criticises miserliness and wants us to realise and act upon the recognition of our interdependence.

Application to debt. It is important to ask: who was lending? To whom? Why? How come governments  allowed this to take place in inappropriate circumstances?

We should not just be cancelling debt but looking to the future and alternative arrangements where this is unlikely to bring relief.

In our interfaith work on debt together we should be thinking about appropriate help to those individuals suffering under terrible regimes; what counts is individuals at either end working together towards a more just and humane world.

Send us your view and contribution from your faith community.

Audrey Miller


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