My book Why Religions Work explores religious tolerance issues. It could not be more relevant at the moment with the world in its present state.
This blog has concentrated recently on the wonderful pilgrimages I have been on - to the Holy Land and to Turkey and more recently to Holy Georgia , Greece "In the Steps of St Paul" , Ethiopia and most recently my experiences in Iran.

"If I was allowed another life I would go to all the places of God's Earth. What better way to worship God than to look on all his works?" from The Chains of Heaven: an Ethiopian Romance Philip Marsden

Monday, 31 December 2012

If a mosquito can work interfaith, then so can we

I think it's an old African proverb that goes something along the lines that if you think you're too small to make a difference, try spending the night with a mosquito! And then again it was E F Schumacher who helped to get us used to the idea that "small is beautiful" in his wonderful book of the same name, subtitled "A Study of Economics as if People Mattered."
But that's not what really led me to post this blog. It's all about the association of ideas. And it's all about mosquitoes!
My New Year resolution is to stop accumulating "stuff," and in particular the ever increasing piles of paper that seem to grow inexorably while I'm not looking!
And to start that process off, I've spent today plowing through those piles, chucking away loads, and reading the rest!!
And that was when I came across a report on an interfaith initiative in Sierra Leone to combat the serious problem of childhood malaria there - a massive killer, responsible for 29% of all deaths among children under 5 in that country. It was the mosquito headline that caught my eye so I read further into the article.
And what then caught my eye was the comment by Peter Salifu of the Nigerian Inter-faith Action Association (NIFAA), speaking to a crowd of more than 100 Muslim and Christian faith leaders in Sierra Leone, as he tried to build on the success of work going on in Nigeria for interfaith health messaging on Malaria.
Faith leaders can play a vital role in health messaging, because they "have the trust, the community links, the platform, and the recognition" to spread vital preventative healthcare messages to their congregations.
"The same mosquito," Peter Salifu said, "can go to the mosque on Friday and church on Sunday. If a mosquito can work interfaith, then so can we."
You can read much more about this Sierra Leone initiative at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. OK, perhaps you don't like his politics - not everyone will - but please read with an open mind what the Tony Blair Foundation are achieving in countries such as Sierra Leone through the Faiths Act project and see for yourselves why religions have a vital part to play in our world today.

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