The Inter Faith Network (IFN)June 9, 2023 2023-06-26 1:37
The Inter Faith Network (IFN)
The Inter Faith Network (IFN)
The Inter Faith Network (IFN) for the UK was founded in 1987, following two years of consultation, to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Britain including an awareness both of their distinctive features and their common ground and to promote good relations between people of different faiths in Britain.
There were 60 founder member organizations: national faith community representative bodies of the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities (the Zoroastrian community joined in 1989, but had been involved in consultations before the Network was established); national inter faith organizations; local inter faith bodies; and educational and academic bodies with an interest in multi faith and inter faith issues. National inter faith bodies included UK chapters of international inter faith initiatives. The pattern of membership today is similar and there are nearly 200 organizations in membership.
It has also worked to ensure that the importance of religious identity and of good inter faith relations is understood in wider society.
IFN sends Circulars throughout the year to member bodies about matters connected to its work and developments relevant to inter faith engagement, including in as the area of public policy. It also distributes information more widely through its regular newsletter, which carries information about inter faith projects, relevant national updates, research projects, funding opportunities, and upcoming inter faith events.
Part of IFN’s work involves advocacy in the area of faith and public life. IFN links in direct membership many local inter faith organizations (LIFOs) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Within England, IFN links in membership a number of regional multi faith bodies, which play a significant role in their regions.
IFN’s vision is of a society where there is understanding of the diversity and richness of the faith communities in the UK and the contribution that they make; and where they live and work together with mutual respect and shared commitment to the common good.
Working with faith communities, inter faith organizations, educators and others to increase understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths and to widen public awareness of the distinctive religious traditions in the UK.
Working to achieve this through: supporting and encouraging inter faith initiatives and sharing good practice between these; helping create opportunities for mutual learning and tackling prejudice; and offering opportunity for engagement between faith communities and Government and other public agencies on relevant issues.
Service to others, Integrity, Accountability, Trust, Consultative and cooperative working, Valuing diversity, Inclusiveness, Listening and openness, Courtesy, Mutual respect, Respecting dissent and people’s right to express this.