The United Kingdom and its multicultural beauty


The term interfaith simply means relating to, or involving persons of different faith. Although this is a term that is simplistic in its definition, in practice this is sometimes sadly not the case. 




One of the beautiful aspects about the United Kingdom is that it is highly diverse and we are beautifully multicultural. A game that I often play on the London double decker is "guess the language"- something that I'm not very good at might I add! I have learnt more about culture on the streets of London than I can find out in any book on the subject. Consequently, as we embrace the different cultures that make us unique as a nation, this also means we also subconsciously embrace people of different faiths. 
 

Originally from Hertfordshire, during my childhood I barely knew people of different faiths. I naively assumed that everyone woke up on a Sunday morning at attend church for the Sunday service and that 25th December was a day of celebration for everyone. I didn't realise at that point that I was the only viewing the world through black and white tinted glasses. My eyes were opened to the beautiful colours of our nation when I moved to London for university. 

It was in London that I was faced with the reality that people are free to embrace their faith and religion in whichever they want. Although this was very foreign to me I quickly adapted to the situation that I was placed in, I can now truly say that some of my friends and loved ones are of a different faith. It was also at university that I realised how easy it was to work/be closed to others of different faiths. Although during my own walk with God I briefly converted to Islam, being an active member of the Christian Union, we were heavily involved with the Islamic society, whose prayer room was minutes away from the chapel that we had at university. We connected as we all had a vision that was faith led and because of this there was mutual understanding, although at times there were heated debates about the big questions of life! 

My own experiences have made me more rounded as a person and arguably I haven't worked as closely of people of other faiths except Islam, I now know how easy it is to work closely with people of other beliefs.

What broke my heart is when I switched on the news last week to discover the merciless executions in Kenya, India and the attacks on the church in Syria, amongst others. Although admittedly these people absolutely do not represent Islam and these are purely acts of terrorism. For anyone who knows the pillars of Islam would know that it is a faith of peace and love for others. It is evident that these terrorists have a lot to learn from the United Kingdom and other countries who accept and embrace multicultural relationships. In any religion the killings of innocent people is absolutely abhorrent and is not condonable. 

It is time that people of all beliefs unite together against terrorism, as on our own we are strong but together we will be a force to be reckoned with. As mentioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta as top Christian, Hindu and Muslim clerics joined together for a multi faith prayer service for the 67 victims of the Westgate shopping centre attack, "faith is one thing in 100 different languages, that's why faith unites us". This was also evident as an "Muslim born business owner testified that he had "never seen this type of love before" as he reflected on the churches efforts to support him.  So let's join together with our brothers and sisters of different faiths and love thy neighbour as God has commanded us to do. 

 
References:
http://www.christianpost.com/news/muslim-born-man-testifies-ive-never-seen-this-type-of-love-before-after-church-unites-to-save-his-local-business-105705/cpt
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24347548
http://www.christianpost.com/news/islamic-extremists-attack-syria-churches-remove-crosses-hoist-up-black-islamist-flags-in-reka-105625/cpt

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2013/09/muslims-slaughter-75-christians-in-deadly-attack-on-historic-christian-church-in-pakistan.html

http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5142/christians-and-muslims-support-victims-of-pakistan-attack

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