Silsilah is starting a new program for Muslim and Christian leaders of Mindanao to respond the request of formation as a concrete answer to the World Interfaith Harmony Week which was proposed by the United Nations and also implemented in Zamboanga City by the National Ulama Council of the Philippines(NUCP) in partnership with Silsilah Dialogue Movement and many other institutions and groups.
This program envisions the possibility to conduct seminar-workshops for leaders, giving priority to professionals and teachers of different schools and universities. It will be done in a creative way to help them understand the importance of seeing the connection between each own faith and the interfaith challenge of today. They will be invited to understand that dialogue and peace are not only needed for progress, but also a challenge coming from a proper understanding of the message of Love in Islam and Christianity. It requires a process of personal and social transformation.
Silsilah encourages Christians to rediscover the Beatitudes of Jesus and the Muslims to rediscover the Great Jihad to understand and appreciate more the Culture of Dialogue and bring it in society starting from the Government agencies, schools, universities, churches, mosques, institutions or groups where each one of them is involved. Silsilah believes that there is no shortcut to peace. It has to have a foundation in a deeper and better understanding on the human and spiritual aspiration of life guided by the center believe of our two religions that is the Love of God and the Love of neighbor. In this formation program the Muslim and Christian participants will deepen and share, in a dynamic and creative way, their leanings and share them in their own families and their working place as a new challenge to build up a new leadership in the country and prepare youth to live and promote the Culture of Dialogue, path to peace. The program aims to rediscover the center part of the Christian and Islamic religion, encouraging leaders and professionals to overcome prejudices and biases through a sincere sharing where one can realize that a “narrow” presentation of our own religions in the past and in the presence are among the reason of conflict that some use still now for vested interest and to “re- educate” the participants to rediscover the importance of “Harmony in society” and share to all, especially to the youth, the importance to live and promote the Culture of Dialogue, Path to peace.
There is hope that the participants will internalize the Formation Program and share the realizations to others with a clear presentation of the message of Love to be deepened by Muslims and Christians to a point that they can be able to answer to the questions presented in the Primer prepared for the Interfaith Harmony Week in Zamboanga by the NUCP and other groups. One of the most crucial question and answer of that primer is
Christian “mission” and Islamic “Da’wah” are source of conflict or are they challenges for HARMONY, SOLIDARITY and PEACE?
Often in the past and also in recent history Christian mission and Islamic Da’wah have been a source of conflict due to a narrow interpretation of the two faiths or due to vested interest of leaders who used religion for their ambition and power . We are now celebrating interfaith harmony because we believe that we can live our faith as an arena of harmony, solidarity and peace. Thus, Christians have to continue to live their faith and share their “mission”, and Muslims too have to continue to live and share their faith in the spirit of “da’wah” while we are all guided by the “common word” of love of God and love of neighbor.
May this new program be a beginning of a new style of life in society to live and promote the Culture of Dialogue, Path to Peace.
For more information on this program please visit www.silsilahdialogue.com.