It seems to me rather than side stepping this matter it’s better to be up front about it. In Norway, they have taken the initiative to combat islamophobia. How about in Malaysia? Combat christophobia anyone?
The Islamic Council of Norway and the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations jointly declare that everyone is free to adopt the religious faith of their choice. We denounce, and are committed to counteracting all violence, discrimination and harassment inflicted in reaction to a person’s conversion, or desire to convert, from one religion to another, be it in Norway or abroad.
We interpret our religious traditions such that everyone has the right to freely choose their religious belief and faith community, and to practice their religion publicly as well as privately.
Missionary activity and information to others about our faith must be done according to ethically accepted standards, that is, without the use of any form of force or manipulation. If freedom of religion is to be upheld, all conversion must happen freely.
As religious communities we experience joy within our respective contexts whenever a person wishes to share our faith and join our religious community. Therefore we also respect a person’s right to convert to a different religion than our own.
Oslo, 22nd of August 2007
Rather than telling people that we should stop missionary activities, perhaps the better way forward is the raise the standard and our code of ethics in the way we share about our faith to others and how we invite others to adopt our “religion” or “world view”. Let’s start with an excerpt on educational services.
Missionary activities and educational services
- When providing education for others, religious organisations should be transparent about their religious affiliation and/or objectives.
- Missionary organisations maintain the right of those who run schools to promote their own belief traditions. However, religious organisations should never use the offer of education merely as a tool to gain a foothold within another religious community.
- When running preschools and schools, religious organisations should respect the religious affiliation of the pupils and not involve them in religious activities or expose them to religious propagation without explicit and voluntary consent of their parents or legal guardians. The schools should not prevent or discourage such children from practising the religion of their family while attending the institution.
- Where such instruction is customary, organizations that run schools which provide religious instruction should allow access to alternative religious instruction for pupils with different religious affiliations.
14 Principles. Here are some:
To teach, manifest, and disseminate one’s religion or belief is an established human right. Everyone has the right to attempt to convince others of the truth of one’s belief. Everyone has the right to adopt or change religion or belief without coercion and according to the dictates of conscience.
In disseminating faith or beliefs, one should be truthful and fair towards other religions and beliefs. This requires comparing the ideals of one’s own community with the ideals of other communities, and not with the alleged failures of others.
No one should knowingly make false statements regarding any aspect of other religions, nor denigrate or ridicule their beliefs, practices, or origins. Objective information about these religions is always to be desired in order to avoid the spreading of ill-founded judgments and sweeping prejudices.
Using political or economic power or facilitating its spread under the guise of disseminating religious faith or belief is improper and should be rejected.
Malaysia in the news for the wrong reasons again 🙁
Indigenous groups in Malaysia are accusing the government of using religion as a condition for development aid.
The ethnic tribes say infrastructure is offered to them if they abandon their animistic ways and embrace Islam – a claim the government rejects.
This is so tragic in the light of so much good these medical workers have done for Afghanistan.
The BBC understands that Dr Woo gave up a well-paid job with private healthcare provider Bupa to work in Afghanistan for minimal financial reward.
She died alongside six Americans, a German and two Afghan interpreters who had been working with Christian charity the International Assistance Mission to provide eye care in remote villages.
Her blog posts reveal that she was driven by a desire to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans – and spread the word about their plight.