February 2011

Doctrine Divides, Action Unites



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 Workshop Offers Tools for Peace in India’s State of Orissa
Bruce Van Voorhis
Violence associated with religion that took people’s lives and destroyed hundreds of homes and religious institutions in the past several years in the Indian state of Orissa motivated residents in the state affected by the violence to take part in an interfaith workshop conducted by Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) in collaboration with the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY). During the course of the program that began toward the end of January, the participants taught themselves a valuable lesson. [Read more]

 The Killing of Shias in Pakistan—It Is Hard to Refute the Accusation That the Military Was Involved
Asian Human Rights Commission
In February, more murders of Shias in Pakistan—this time by men in army uniforms—plainly points toward the involvement of the military in these executions, especially the ease with which the operation took place in an area controlled by the military without the apprehension of any suspects. [Read more]

 Increased Religious Repression Forces Monks to Flee and Monasteries to Close
Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy
This summary describes the effect that policies implemented by the Chinese government since last October to control Buddhist monasteries in the Tibet Autonomous Region, or TAR, and other predominantly Tibetan populated parts of China has had on religious institutions and the practice of Buddhism by lay people in these areas. [Read more]

  New Research May Hold Key to Indonesia’s Church-Building Controversy
The author shares valuable lessons in this article of ways in which religious majority and minority communities can live and work together peacefully that is applicable not only to Muslims and Christians in Indonesia but also to people of other faiths in other countries. [Read more]

 The Human Face behind Burma’s Broken Education System
Saw Kweh Say
Education is a key path to the future, not only for individuals, but also ethnic communities. Fighting a civil war since 1949, the Karen people of eastern Burma have found education to be a difficult building block of life to realize. In this article, the author notes the obstacles to education for Karen children but also how these hurdles are being overcome. [Read more]

  Detangling the Holocaust from Israeli-Palestinian Politics
Moriel Rothman
A Jewish writer in this article reflects on the changes in his views that transpired during a visit to the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, perceptions in which empathy for those who suffer can open the door to deeper understanding of the thinking, actions and reactions of those who are even considered one’s enemy. [Read more]

 More Rice, More Money, for Farmers in Cambodia
Hor Hen
Improved farming methods, explains the author, have increased rice production in Cambodia, resulting in better incomes for farmers. This success though has not led to widespread acceptance of these methods among the country’s farmers. Thus, the challenge is convincing farmers to change their agricultural practices. [Read more]

  As I Walk
Soul of Hope in Sri Lanka
This poem was written in the summer of 2009—several months after the conclusion of Sri Lanka’s 26 years of civil war in May of that year—by a poet who has been actively involved with the Center for JustPeace in Asia (CJPA) since 2004. The poem is included in the first book jointly produced by CJPA and Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF)— Our Stories, Our Challenges: The Search for JustPeace in Asia Today. [Read more]

 Web Site Shares Views on Buddhism and War
The web site <http://voiceseducation.org/content/buddhism-and-war> shares a variety of views about the Buddhist principle of non-violence as it relates to war and other forms of violence over the course of centuries. The web site also includes links to numerous other resources about thoughts on war.