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Press Release: Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation Project

The following is a press release from the Forgiveness and Reconciliation Project.

International Symposium on Forgiveness and Reconciliation,
2nd April 2014, Nishkam Centre, Birmingham, UK

A very successful Symposium co-sponsored by the Fetzer Institute, the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) and the Guerrand-Hermes Foundation for Peace took place on 2nd April in Birmingham, UK.

Leading thinkers and activists from many peacemaking and reconciliation organizations gathered in Birmingham both for networking and for the preparation of future collaborative activities. The event was led by Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh, spiritual leader and Chairman of GNNSJ and Co-convenor of the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation Project and by Dr. Josef Boehle, Director of the Charter Project. Dr William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace International is also a Co-convenor of the Charter project.

The day’s agenda included discussions of some of the key questions and critical issues to be considered in creating the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation. Included were also extensive deliberations of forgiveness’ critical role in justice, reconciliation and peacebuilding.

The Symposium served as a springboard to action on establishing the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation in 2015. The proposed Charter aims to inspire and engage individuals, groups and communities, in public processes and in private settings, appealing to humanity to practice genuine forgiveness and reconciliation, seeking justice and sustainable peace. The Symposium programme with a list of presenters, chairs and moderators is at: http://www.commongood.info/symposium2014.pdf

30 participants and observers attended the Symposium and their names and organisational affiliations can be found in a brief Symposium summary posted on the Nishkam Media Centre web site:

The proposed Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation will draw upon values, stories and examples from sacred texts and from different spiritual traditions, from religious/spiritual communities, and from the lives of outstanding individuals. With such paradigms, the Charter will direct commitment and activities towards a growing practice of forgiveness and reconciliation which humanity desperately needs in a fractured world.

The draft text for the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation is now being developed. The whole collaborative chartering process is expected to take up to a year, to allow for substantial input from a wide range of worldviews, backgrounds, expertise and insights.

The vision behind the Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation is that forgiving is an activity necessary for healing and reconciliation to take place, when seeking justice and sustainable peace.

Additional information on the Charter Project can be found on the following web page: http://www.commongood.info/charterforgiveness.html

The Charter project is co-sponsored by the Fetzer Institute: