Carta por la Compasión. Abril 014

Forgive Thy Brother by Scott Erickson

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another. ~Thomas Merton

Dear Silviano,

Meet the Global Compassion Council Members

A newly inaugurated Global Compassion Council (GCC) is the governing body for the Charter for Compassion International. Recruited from around the world, the Council is a confluence of leaders of the movement in the realms of government, business, education, philanthropy, religion & spirituality, health care, the environment, peace, and social justice. Members from the GCC whose life work is deeply rooted in the fields of religion, spirituality and interfaith work are listed below.  Learn more about each of them and other GCC members by visiting the Charter’s website.


Dr. Campbell is truly a woman of “firsts.”  She was the first woman to be Associate Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland Council of Churches; the first woman to be Executive Director of the U.S. office of the World Council of Churches; the first ordained woman to be General Secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; and the first woman Director of Religion at the historic Chautauqua Institution, a center for religion, education, the arts, and recreation.

Alan Boesak first became known as a liberation theologian, starting with the publication of his doctoral work (Farewell to Innocence, 1976). For the next decade or so, he continued to write well-received books and collections of essays, sermons, and so on. In 2008, while serving as the Moderator of the Cape Synod of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, Boesak, to the shock of many senior church leaders, announced that he would resign all of his positions within the church because of the church’s discriminatory position on homosexuality and gay and lesbian persons. Boesak invoked the anti-apartheid 1986 Belhar Declaration, which lambasts all forms of discrimination, to say that the church should welcome gays and lesbians and begin to perform gay marriage ceremonies and appoint gay clergy.

Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp is an award-winning human rights advocate, lecturer, writer, environmental activist and champion of civil society worldwide who is active in a wide variety of progressive, humanitarian, and interfaith organizations and initiatives. Born in Amsterdam, Rabbi Soetendorp was saved from the Nazis by a righteous couple and survived as a “hidden child.” He went on to receive his ordination from Leo Baeck College of London in 1967 and was instrumental in the reestablishment of Jewish communities in the Netherlands.


Diana Eck’s academic work has a dual focus—India and America. Her work on India focuses on popular religion, especially temples and places of pilgrimage, called tirthas. Her books include Banaras: City of Light and Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India and her most recent work, India: A Sacred Geography, published in 2012 Her work on the United States focuses especially on the challenges of religious pluralism in a multi-religious society. Since 1991, she has headed the Pluralism Project, which explores and interprets the religious dimensions of America’s new immigration; the growth of Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, and Zoroastrian communities in the United States; and the new issues of religious pluralism and American civil society.

Imam Magid currently serves as the President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He is also active in both the interfaith and Islamic community. Imam Magid is the Imam of All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, Virginia. Under his direction, the Center has grown to be one of the largest Muslim community organizations in the Washington Metropolitan Area. He also occupies the Chairmanship of the Fairfax County Faith Communities in Action, and a Chaplin of George Mason University Campus Ministry. He is also the Vice Chairman of Muflehun, a think tank, which is focused on confronting violent extremist thought through research-driven preventative programs within a religious paradigm.

Rev. Dr Ofelia Ortega Suárez, of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba, a pioneering woman theologian and ecumenist, was the first Presbyterian woman to be ordained in Cuba. She is also an elected member of the Cuban National Assembly and completed a term as President for Latin American and the Caribbean of the World Council of Churches in 2013.

Professor Storey is former president of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, past president of the South African Council of Churches, and was Methodist Bishop of the Johannesburg/Soweto area for 13 years. A native South African with a 30-year track record in urban ministry, he served as director of a 24- hour crisis intervention service in Sydney, Australia, senior minister of the Inner-City Methodist Mission in District Six, Cape Town, and of the Central Methodist Mission in Johannesburg. In the 1960s, Professor Storey founded a network of crisis intervention centers in South Africa and served as chaplain to Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners on Robben Island.


Strategic Partnership Announcement signed on April 3, 2014 between

Parliament of the World’s Religions and the Charter for Compassion


The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions and Charter for Compassion International today [April 3, 2014] announce our strategic partnership aimed at supporting the emergence of the Compassionate Cities movement worldwide.

This Compassionate Cities movement is deeply aligned with the principles of the Parliament. The International Campaign for Compassionate Cities aims to affirm the principle of compassion in the behavior of hundreds of millions of people in thousands of communities around the globe. We believe compassion is a practical, measurable standard we can apply to specific outcomes, including the alleviation of poverty, hunger, and disease, the protection of human rights, the extension of democracy, the creation of a peaceful world, and dealing with the challenges of global climate change.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions is the mother of the global interfaith movement. Its mission is to achieve a peaceful, just and sustainable world, and at the heart of that mission is the convening of the world’s largest interfaith gathering, each time in a different host city. The first Parliament was held in 1893 in Chicago and brought Hinduism, Buddhism, the Jains, Sikhs, and other Eastern faiths to the United States.

The Council of the Parliament will encourage Ambassadors of the Parliament as well as its members and affiliates around the world to join the Compassionate Cities Initiative and to engage their local communities with the movement. The Charter for Compassion will highlight the Parliament’s efforts to bring the principles of the Charter to life in projects and programs in every community.

Signed by, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Parliament; and Karen Armstrong, Founder, Charter for Compassion International and author of the Charter for Compassion on April 3, 2013, at Atlanta, GA, USA.


Let’s Talk: Religion/Spirituality and Faith-Based Call


On Tuesday, April 22nd, we will have our Religion/Spirituality/Faith-Based sector conference call. The call lasts for 90 minutes. This is a general call for all partners. We will be using the Maestro Platform for this call so you will need to registerto get the call-in number, and you will receive your own personal identification access number. Please register online as soon as possible since this allows us to tailor the agenda to meet the needs of those involved in the call.

To make certain as to what time the call would begin in your location, consult the World Clock—Time Converter. Start with Seattle at 6:00 AM and enter your city in the field and click on convert.  For example, 6 am PST in Seattle, 9 am EST in London, 3 pm GMT, etc.


Reaching Out!

During the last year the Charter’s Religion/Spirituality/Faith-Based sector has grown to close to 100 partners.  If you would like, or know of an organization who would be interested in being a partner to the network, please tell them about the Charter.  The process for joining is easy and requires just a few minutes of time, though the rewards of being a member are long term and can be as extensive as you like.


Exercise your Compassion! Join the Compassion Relays!

Bring compassion into your everyday life and that of your community.

Anyone, any age, can participate in the Relays, now and year-round. The Relays mobilize each of us to seek, discover, and practice compassion in our daily lives. We share acts of compassion and pass on compassion person-to-person and group-to-group around the world.

Use the Compassion Relays Torch logo to highlight and pass on news about the Relays to friends, family, and colleagues via social media and hand-to-hand.

Remember these two key links for the Compassion Relays!

1)  Find basic information about the Relays

2)  Report your acts of compassion and your Relays experience via the Compassion Map.


Charter for Compassion International is sustained by donations from supporters across the globe. To learn more about how you can help, click here.


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  1. […] Carta por la Compasión. Abril 014. […]

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