Treasure Earth Team

Treasure Earth appoints Prizes and Awards Documentary Filmmaker


Rachel Hughes

Prize and Awards Documentary Filmmaker


 

Treasure Earth is pleased to announce the appointment of Rachel Hughes as Prizes and Awards Documentary Filmmaker effective 12 September 2022. Rachel began her journey into documentary filmmaking when she was at university, where her first short film dealt with a sensitive exploration into the issues surrounding mental health as seen from a man’s perspective. After University, she continued her film studies and released her first big project entitled ‘The Acid Dimension’ exploring the research on the dangers versus potential benefits of the prescribed use of hallucinogenic substances for medical purposes. This documentary film has won awards firstly as Best Writer and Editor at the MorArt Film Festival, then as ‘Best International Documentary Short’ at Austin International Art Festival and then as a semi-finalist at several other film festivals around the world.

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Global News, Governance, Human rights, Humanitarian Care, Leadership, Peace, Religion

Final Declaration from the interfaith 7th World Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions: United against war and united for interfaith co-operation for global peace



Kazakhstan Congress: Interfaith leaders encourage initiatives for a better world

Article by Vatican correspondent and forwarded from Vatican News by Treasure Earth. 

Concluding the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan, interreligious leaders from around the world adopt a declaration expressing a common desire to work towards a better world, while condemning violence in the name of religion.
More than 100 delegations from about 60 countries met from 14-15 September at the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which was held in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital city.

At the end of the 2-day Congress, most delegates adopted a declaration, containing principles to be disseminated at regional and national levels, for consideration in all political decisions, legislative norms, educational programs, and mass media in all interested countries.

A pledge to work towards a better world

The declaration, which will also be distributed as an official document of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, reflects efforts towards promoting interreligious dialogue and fostering inter-civilization cooperation.

In it, the participants express their shared desire for a just, peaceful, secure and prosperous world, affirming the importance of shared values in the spiritual and social development of mankind.

They also recognize the necessity of countering and overcoming intolerance, xenophobia, discrimination and conflicts based on ethnic, religious and cultural differences, as well as extremism, radicalism and terrorism, which lead to religious persecution and the undermining of human life and dignity.

More so, they express concern about the global increase in the number of migrants and refugees in need of humanitarian assistance and recognize the importance of addressing global challenges including climate change, hunger, poverty, among others, in our post-pandemic world.

They also highlight the urgent need for spiritual and political leaders to join efforts to confront the challenges of the world.

Against conflicts and wars

In the document consisting of a preamble and 35 paragraphs, the participants further pledged to continue the work of the Congress for the benefit of peace and dialogue between cultures and civilizations.

The participants spoke against the unleashing of military conflict that create hotspots of tension and confrontation and impair international relations, and noted that all forms of violence and wars, whatever their goals, “have nothing to do with true religion and must be rejected in the strongest possible terms.”

The Congress called upon world leaders to abandon all aggressive and destructive rhetoric that leads to the destabilization of the world, and to cease from conflict and bloodshed, urging them to “develop dialogue in the name of friendship, solidarity and peaceful coexistence.”

The document also encouraged acts of mercy and compassion, calling for assistance for regions affected by conflict, natural and man-made disasters.

Document on Human Fraternity, Makkah Declaration

The declaration further goes on to recognize the importance and value of the Document on Human Fraternity signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, in February 2019, and the Makkah Declaration, signed in Mecca on May 2019, which call “for peace, dialogue, mutual understanding and mutual respect among believers for the common good.”

Religious pluralism and tolerance

Proceeding from the fact that God created all people equal regardless of race, religion, ethnicity and social status, the participants uphold the value of tolerance, respect and mutual understanding that underpin all religious teaching.

In this regard, they note that pluralism and differences in religion, skin colour, gender, race and language are expressions of the wisdom of God’s will in creation, and “any incident of coercion to a particular religion and religious doctrine is unacceptable.”

The document, thus, calls for the support of initiatives to implement interreligious and interdenominational dialogue “for the sake of building social justice and solidarity for all peoples.”

The rest of the declaration touched on other issues, including highlighting the importance of strengthening the institution of the family and protecting the rights and dignity of women, among others.

The document concludes by acknowledging the Republic of Kazakhstan for its role as “an authoritative and global centre of intercivilizational, interreligious and interfaith dialogue” and an indication of the desire to hold the 8th Congress in 2025 in Nur-Sultan.

Global News, Governance, Human rights, Humanitarian Care, Leadership, Peace, Religion

His Holiness Pope Francis’ address from the 2nd day of his apostolic journey including to the interfaith 7th World Congress of World and Traditional Religions


Pope in Kazakhstan: Religions ‘key to building world peace and understanding’

 

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Pope in Kazakhstan: Religions ‘key to building world peace and understanding’

Excerpts from His Holiness Pope Francis’s Address to the 7th interfaith Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

In his address at the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Pope Francis underscores how religions need to grow in friendship in order to respond to the thirst for world peace and for the infinite that dwells in the heart of each of us.
 

The first major event on the Pope’s schedule in Kazakhstan took place on Wednesday morning in the nation’s capital of Nur-Sultan when he addressed participants at the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

The two-day meeting, which takes place every three years, has brought together religious leaders from around the world to focus this time on how religious leaders can foster the spiritual and social development in the post-pandemic world. Over 100 delegations from 50 countries are attending the Congress, made up of religious, cultural, civil, governmental, and non-governmental representatives.

Drawn by the infinite

Pope Francis travelled to Kazakhstan to participate personally in this meeting, following the invitation of the nation’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

In his opening speech the Pope began by addressing everyone as “brothers and sisters…in the name of the fraternity that unites us as children of the same Heaven.” He noted that “before the mystery of the infinite that transcends and attracts us, the religions remind us that we are creatures…not omnipotent…journeying towards the same heavenly goal.” 

This shared nature then creates naturally “a common bond, an authentic fraternity,” said the Pope, recalling how the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan throughout history has been a land of encounter involving ideas, faiths, and trade as in the ancient silk route.

He expressed hopes for the encounter of religions to be always based on human relationships marked by “respect, sincere dialogue, respect for the inviolable dignity of each human being, and mutual cooperation.”

Religious leaders together in Nur-Sultan

Authentic religiosity

He quoted throughout his address Kazakhstan’s most renowned poet and the father of its modern literature, Abai (1845-1904), whose writings reflect deep religious devotion and “the noble soul of this people.”

He recalled how Abai frequently addressed the ultimate questions about life and meaning to cultivate a spirituality, and quoting him, the Pope said this keeps “the soul alive and the mind clear,” and that people count on people of faith to be “examples of souls alive and minds clear” as well as reflecting “an authentic religiosity.”

The Pope recalled that fundamentalism “defiles and corrupts every creed” and that we must have “open and compassionate hearts.”  

“The pursuit of transcendence and the sacred value of fraternity can inspire and illumine the decisions that need to be made amid the geopolitical, social, economic, ecological, but fundamentally spiritual crises that many modern institutions, including democracies, are presently experiencing, to the detriment of security and concord among peoples. We need religion, in order to respond to the thirst for world peace and the thirst for the infinite that dwells in the heart of each man and woman.”

Religious freedom

Pope Francis then noted the importance of religious freedom as “an essential condition for genuinely human and integral development.” Created free, every person “has the right to render public testimony to his or her own creed, proposing it without ever imposing it,” through proselytism or indoctrination.

Reflecting on the theme of this Congress looking at how to offer spiritual and social support in a post-pandemic world, the Pope focused on four challenges we all face and in special way urged religions to work together toward a greater unity of purpose.

Pope Francis with other religious leaders

Vulnerability and responsibility

The Covid-19 pandemic put everyone “in the same boat,” the Pope observed, adding how it exposed our common vulnerability and need for help.

He praised the “powerful sense of solidarity” that resulted from the pandemic but warned that we must not squander it. Here he said religions are “called to be present on the front lines, as promoters of unity amid the grave challenges that risk dividing our human family even further.”

“It is up to us, who believe in the Divine, to help our brothers and sisters at the present time not to forget our vulnerability…In a word, the sense of shared vulnerability that emerged during the pandemic should motivate us to move forward, not as we did before, but now with greater humility and foresight.”

The Pope then added that believers are “called to care” for humanity and become “artisans of communion, witnesses of a cooperation that transcends the confines of our community, ethnic, national and religious affiliations.” He said we begin by listening to the poor, the neglected, the helpless who “suffer in silence and general disregard.”

Challenge of Peace

The second global challenge the Pope highlighted is the challenge of peace.

Although discussed by religious leaders especially in recent decades, the scourge of war and confrontation still plagues the world, he observed. This requires a “leap forward” by the great religions to actively unite and commit to peace, the Pope said, if people of our day are to be inspired to engage in respectful and responsible dialogue. 

“God is peace. He guides us always in the way of peace, never that of war. Let us commit ourselves, then, even more to insisting on the need for resolving conflicts not by the inconclusive means of power, with arms and threats, but by the only means blessed by heaven and worthy of man: encounter, dialogue and patient negotiations, which make progress especially when they take into consideration the young and future generations…Let us invest in this: not in more weapons, but in education!”

Fraternal acceptance

The third challenge facing us is “fraternal acceptance,” the Pope explained, noting how every day “children, born and unborn, migrants and elderly persons, are cast aside…yet every human being is sacred.”

It is especially the task of the religions to remind the world of this, the Pope said, recalling the massive exodus of people today caused by war, poverty and climate change. He said,..

“Let us rediscover the art of hospitality, of acceptance, of compassion. And let us learn also to be ashamed: yes, to experience that healthy shame born of compassion for those who suffer, sympathy and concern for their condition and for their fate, which we realize that we too share. This is the path of compassion, which makes us better human beings and better believers.”

Care for our common home

The final challenge we all face is “care for our common home,” that we protect the natural environment from the damage we cause through pollution, exploitation, and devastation.

He noted how “the mindset of exploitation” is destroying our common home and leading to “an eclipse of the respectful and religious vision of the world willed by the Creator.” 

Going forward together

In conclusion, Pope Francis encouraged everyone to “go forward together, so that the journey of the religions may be increasingly marked by friendship.”