Interfaith

Material about a variety of faith traditions

MUI Looks Into Baha’i Faith

The Tulungagung branch of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) is looking into the Boha’i faith, which is fast spreading around the country.

The teachings of Baha'i requires its followers to pray only once a day as opposed to the normal five times a day, to carry out the Ramadhan fasting for 17 days instead of a month, to use Mount Carmel in Israel as their orientation during their prayers, and to accept Akhdas as their holy book.

MUI Tulungagung secretary, Abu Sofyan Firojuddin, said the Baha’i faith has long branched out in the region. The group even have their own Marriage Certificate issued by Baha’i figures, Sofyan added. “People are starting to worry,” he said yesterday.

{josquote}People are starting to worry{/josquote}

Despite the many differences with the standard Islamic laws, Sofyan said he could not just ban the group as demanded by people. According to Sofyan, Baha’i cannot be categorized as insulting a religion because it has its own set of beliefs.

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Talkback: marrying out of the faith


Rachel Woodlock

{audio}http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2009/10/lms_20091016_0905.mp3{/audio}

Today a discussion springing from oral historian Siobhan McHugh's research into 'marrying out'.

In pre-multicultural Australia, marrying across the Protestant/Catholic Divide was consorting with the enemy for many families. Mixed-religion couples describe being estranged, disinherited and vilified in a society where a quarter of the population (Catholics) was barred from applying for some private sector jobs, and Freemasons and Catholics jostled for control of the public sector.

The Catholic Church showed its disapproval of the 'impediment of mixed marriage' by relegating such ceremonies to a cheerless setting away from the main altar, out of sight of family and friends. Yet from the 1890s to the 1960s, one in five Australian weddings was a mixed marriage.

We're joined by Rachel Woodlock from Monash University whose own grandparents 'married out'. She's in an interfaith marriage herself as a Muslim married to an Irish born Baha'i.

Listeners contribute their stories of interfaith marriage, positive and negative.

Full story...

Talkback: marrying out of the faith


Rachel Woodlock

{audio}http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2009/10/lms_20091016_0905.mp3{/audio}

Today a discussion springing from oral historian Siobhan McHugh's research into 'marrying out'.

In pre-multicultural Australia, marrying across the Protestant/Catholic Divide was consorting with the enemy for many families. Mixed-religion couples describe being estranged, disinherited and vilified in a society where a quarter of the population (Catholics) was barred from applying for some private sector jobs, and Freemasons and Catholics jostled for control of the public sector.

The Catholic Church showed its disapproval of the 'impediment of mixed marriage' by relegating such ceremonies to a cheerless setting away from the main altar, out of sight of family and friends. Yet from the 1890s to the 1960s, one in five Australian weddings was a mixed marriage.

We're joined by Rachel Woodlock from Monash University whose own grandparents 'married out'. She's in an interfaith marriage herself as a Muslim married to an Irish born Baha'i.

Listeners contribute their stories of interfaith marriage, positive and negative.

Full story...

In Mideast, marriage too can be a battlefield


Sergey and Raya Asyeyev

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The two couples had never met each other, and probably never would. They had come from opposite sides of a border between longtime enemies.

But Elie Wakim and Nada Ghamloush from Lebanon, and Dimitri Stafeev and Olga Zaytseva from Israel, had a problem in common: Belonging to different religions, neither couple could get married in their home country, and had to fly to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus to tie the knot.

In the Middle East, civil marriage doesn't exist and no religious authority will perform an interfaith wedding. Lebanon and Israel are different in that they recognize civil marriages as long as they're performed abroad, and the closest venue abroad is Cyprus, 150 miles from Lebanon and 230 miles from Israel.

{josquote}Wakim, 39, and Ghamloush, 33, met at work, fell in love and decided to marry. Their problem was, he's a Maronite Christian, she's a Baha'i.{/josquote}

So this little island, which claims to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, has made mixed marriages something of an industry. Its municipalities charge around $415 for express processing and $190 for others, while travel agencies in both Lebanon and Israel offer packages including travel, luxury hotel, marriage fees and flowers for the bride.

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Reviewing one's situation

I have never forgotten an extraordinary documentary I saw on television some years ago about a woman whose life was irrevocably changed when she uncovered some information about her past of which she had previously been unaware. She had been raised in a Welsh Presbytarian family and had happily lived her life within that religious tradition. If I remember it correctly, she had some inkling that she was adopted since she was just old enough to remember a hasty departure from Hitler’s Germany prior to the Second World War, to live with this kindly and accommodating family in Wales.

{josquote}Ultimately, it did not really matter whether she was Welsh, Presbytarian, Jewish, German or anything else. What mattered more than where she had come from was what she had made of her life.{/josquote}

The fact that she discovered late in life which changed her whole self-identity was that her real mother was Jewish. Suddenly this child’s quick transportation out of Germany became more comprehendible. But more than this, she learned that her father had been a Nazi, an SS Officer.

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