We live in a world where communities come in all types of different flavours, and the huge variety of religions we see around us is just one of the things that makes our world so wonderfully diverse. It's easy to hear matters of a religious nature depicted in a negative light in the UK, especially in recent times for minority faiths such as Islam. Pockets of fear and prejudice are on the rise, and it just doesn't fly with us!
However, it's far from the truth to think of religion simply as a cause of division - quite often, differences in religion form the basis for cooperation and collaboration! All across Europe, faith groups have often worked together to build more inclusive communities. At Ben & Jerry's, we believe that life is much sweeter when we unite, so here are our favourite examples of when religions have worked together with shared values in mind.
Sadiq Khan Breaks His Fast
London Mayor Sadiq Khan had the difficult task of fasting through long summer days during Ramadan, whilst continuing to carry out his duties as Mayor. Keen to use the Muslim holy month to build bridges between communities in the diverse city of London, the Mayor tweeted a photo of himself breaking his fast along with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chief Rabbi. The festival of Eid (which comes at the end of Ramadan) then became a celebration across social channels, which brough people together no matter what their faith!
Muslims & Christians Unite in Solidarity
Following an attack on a Catholic church in Rouen, France, last month, Muslims across the country attended Catholic Mass in solidarity with those affected. Their action sent a powerful message of community togetherness, showing that hatred has no place in either religion.
Eight Religions Come Together Under One Roof
This uniting of faiths doesn't only occur after a tragedy. The House of Religions in Bern, Switzerland, brings a whopping eight religions together under just one roof! There are spaces for a Christian church, a Hindu temple, a Buddhist centre, an Alevi cemevi, and a mosque, all of which open out into a dialogue room where meetings and community events can take place for members of all religions. Pretty cool huh?
Religious Groups Spread the Love in Birmingham Post-Brexit
The Love Your Neighbour campaign in Birmingham celebrates the multicultural city by urging residents to get to know the people living on the other side of their walls. #LoveYourNeighbour brings together Christians, Muslims, Jew and Sikhs under the banner of spreading kindness and understanding. Their aim is for love and community to shout out over the recent division and confusion following the recent result of the EU referendum.
It's true that bad news often travels faster than the good, but we're on a mission to let positive stories outshine the rest. By shouting about the good things, we can help to spread the word that our differences are less significant than our commonalities; values of love, compassion, respect, and fairness. So let's unite in solidarity to celebrate all of the flavours in our society that make up One Sweet World!
Can You Share an Example?
If you have any other great examples of religions working together you would like to share, please drop us a tweet @benandjerrysUK, using the hashtag #OneSweetWorld. And if you'd like to find out more about our latest social inclusion campaign, One Sweet World, just click here!