The Abrahamic Reunion gave a talk to sixth form students on the 17th October 2016.
The Abrahamic Reunion is an organisation which is having unprecedented success in bringing peace and friendship between the religions in Israel and the West Bank; it has recently been nominated for the Unesco Peace Prize.
Camden Sixth form were lucky enough to have four members of the Abrahamic reunion come in to tell us about their aims and the beginnings of the Reunion. Set up in 2004 it began when Anna Less and her partner were living in India, serving the poor. They were often asked by tourists to be shown around the places of worship and spirituality there, which slowly developed into a tour guide company. This then gradually moved to Israel, often entailing meetings with religious leaders and it then developed into a group of people across the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities working together to promote harmony and integration between people of different faiths.
Since the migration of Jews back to Israel after the Second World War, the (mainly Muslim) Palestinians have been slowly driven out, either crossing the border to Syria or staying in squalid and oppressed conditions, with violence an everyday reality as religious tensions over land grow. Anna and her colleagues recognised this growing problem, and set up the Abrahamic Reunion to draw attention to the situation and help the broken and conflicting relationships between faiths. She said that previously people had used religion to shut each other out, but now they were working towards a better alternative where everyone is treated with equality and respect. This is done through meeting together, bringing religious leaders to meet, negotiating with politicians, cooking as a group, creating youth programmes to improve relationships and quality of life, and worshipping together. As Anna told us, something many people don’t recognise is that all the Abrahamic religions have the same core values at heart, and this is what drives the Reunion. The organisation now travels worldwide to spread their message and promote discussions amongst multi-faith communities
I personally felt lucky to have met such people of hope and integrity working in a place where the problem of conflict has been going on for longer than many can remember.
Poppy – Sixth Form Senior Prefect