Posts Tagged ‘Karen Armstrong’

Good News from Charter for Compassion

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

News on the Charter

We write at a very exciting moment in the history of the Charter for Compassion. Earlier this year, a number of us met to discuss how we could bring the Charter to more people and better support the amazing activities being carried out by partners and individual ambassadors. Look for updates in the next two months as our plans take shape. In the meantime, we are thrilled to see the Charter continue to ripple out to all corners – many exciting activities and events focused on compassion continue to take place.

  • Golden Rule Day – The world celebrated Golden Rule Day on Monday, April 5. The proclomation was established by the Interfaith Peace-building Initiative, a United Religions Initiative Cooperation Circle in Ethiopia. Mussie Hailu, Regional Coordinator of URI Africa, encourages the rest of the URI community and world to use these words to proclaim a Golden Rule Day in local communities, schools, and places of work. This year, URI asked their community to “Lift up the Golden Rule by affirming the Charter for Compassion.”
  • Karen Armstrong in Sharjah – Karen has received much support for the Charter for Compassion from officials within the United Arab Emerites. Among them, the Ruler of Sharjah whom Karen she spent time with on April 4th –  6th. Her tour included a lecture at the American University of Sharjah. Read Karen’s Huffington Post piece about her trip.
  • Compassionate Seattle – Spearheaded by the Compassion Action Network, the City of Seattle successfully reached its milestone number of affirmers of the Charter for Compassion and is the first to officially declare itself a compassionate city! On April 24, a festival of compassion will take place offering a compassion-themed showcase, exchange, and celebration. Government officials will be on hand to announce the proclamation and Karen Armstrong will keynote. The entire event will be webcast to a global audience. This interactive experience will allow the audience to affirm the Charter for Compassion, ask questions of panelists, and learn how to start compassion movements in their cities.

    You can continue to support the Charter by reminding your network to affirm the Charter, embedding the Charter widget in your blog or on your website, and using sign-up forms at your face-to-face events.


Mussie Hailu

Karen Armstrong & Ethiopian Red Cross Society appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule

Friday, April 9th, 2010



Karen Armstrong & Ethiopian Red Cross Society appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule

Interfaith Peace-building Initiative (United Religions Initiative member in Ethiopia) in partnership with The Golden Rule Cooperation Circle  and United Religions Initiative of Africa Region appointed the noted religion scholar Karen Armstrong & Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule Peace Medal, Trophy, The Golden Rule Poster and Certificate of the appointment of Goodwill Ambassador of Golden Rule were presented to ERCS by Board Members of IPI on the occasion of the celeberation of the Golden Rule Day.

On the occasion of the handing over ceremony of the award Ambassador Mussie Hailu, Board Chairman of IPI & Representative of United Religions Initiative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa said “Ethiopian Red Cross is appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule in recognition of outstanding contribution in giving humanitarian service and working tireless to prevent and alleviate human suffering and contribute to the well being of mankind and prevalence of peace in Ethiopia since its establishment in 1935 based on its fundamental principle which resonate with the teaching of the Golden Rule which says “Treat others the way you want to be treated”.

After receiving the award Mr. Dawit Tagenu, President of ERCS said “Ethiopian Red Cross Society is so happy to receive this distinguished Award and honored to be appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule. On behalf of all staff, volunteers and members of the Society I want to thank Interfaith Peace-building Initiative for the great honor bestowed upon our Society and I take this opportunity to acknowledge the effort of IPI for peace to prevail and the Golden Rule to be the principle of our world. The society is going to work closely with IPI to promote a culture of peace and the teaching of the Golden Rule”

The other person who is appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule is Karen Armstrong, one of the most provocative, original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world and promoter of Compassion and the Golden Rule throughout the world.

Ambassador Mussie said” Karen Armstrong is appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule in acknowledgment of her meritorious work and tireless effort in writing numerous book on comparative religion and emphasizing on the important of Golden Rule and for setting the example to the world by being instrument for the establishment of a Charter for Compassion which would identify shared moral priorities in order to foster global understanding in the spirit of the Golden Rule. She is truly Ambassador of the Golden Rule and Compassion”

In accepting the appointment as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule Karen Armstrong said “This is a great honour and I accept humbly with enormous gratitude. We need to interpret the Golden Rule globally, creating a climate of opinion where it becomes absolutely unacceptable to treat other peoples, other races, other nations, other faiths as we would not wish to be treated ourselves. If we do not achieve this, we are unlikely to have a viable world to hand on to the next generation. We need urgently to make the compassionate voice of religion and of all morality sing out loud and clear in our dangerously polarized world in order to challenge the voices of hatred, exclusion, chauvinism and extremism. The creation of Golden Rule Day is a major contribution to this imperative and I thank IPI and URI for this great work “

Karen Armstrong is a British author of numerous works on comparative religion, who first rose to prominence in 1993 with her highly successful A History of God. A former Catholic nun, she asserts that, “All the great traditions are saying the same thing in much the same way, despite their surface differences.” They each have in common, she says, an emphasis on the transcendent importance of compassion, as epitomized in the so-called Golden Rule: Do not do to others what you would not have done to you.
On being awarded the TED Prize in February 2008, Armstrong called for a council of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders to draw up a Charter for Compassion which would identify shared moral priorities in order to foster global understanding in the spirit of the Golden Rule. The Charter was unveiled in Washington, D.C., in November 2009. Its signatories include Prince Hassan of Jordan, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Sir Richard Branson

Addressing as why Golden Rule matter to bring peace and harmony in the world Ambassador Mussie said, “The Golden Rule is found in numerous cultures, religions, ethical systems, secular philosophies, and indigenous traditions. And because the Golden Rule crosses so many traditions and philosophies, it possesses tremendous moral authority and reveals a profound unity underlying the diversity of human experience. It is a common denominator of all life on Earth. The Golden Rule also emphasizes values of mutuality, interdependence and reciprocity. Given its omnipresence across history, the Golden Rule could be described as a universal ethical principle. Therefore if we truly want to open a new chapter in human history and see a new world based on a culture of peace and social justice, I believe it is high time to promote the Golden Rule throughout

the world as it is a fundamental principle that addresses critical issues such as democracy, human rights, respect for each other, gender equity, social development, interfaith harmony, constructive dialogue among nations, conflict prevention and right human relationship.   By acting wisely, effectively and collectively under the Golden Rule we can create a more peaceful, ethical and better world for all.”

He further said “With this core values in mind, in 2007 the Interfaith Peace-building Initiative of Ethiopia declared April 5 as a “Golden Rule Day” and called upon all citizens of the world, religious leaders of the world, mayors, heads of state of the world, the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States, interfaith organizations, schools, higher learning institutions, the business community and civil society to join IPI in proclaiming this day as Golden Rule Day and to live accordingly to make this world a better place for all and the coming generation. In addition to this IPI also started a Golden Rule Goodwill Ambassador programme to highlight more the need of Golden Rule to promote a culture of peace, interfaith harmony and Global Ethic.”

The Interfaith Peace-building Initiative is a member of the United Religions Initiative (international Peace organization with Consultative Status at the United Nations) whose purpose is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence, and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.  May Peace Prevail on Earth