08 / 1 / 2016 9.46am
Celebrating common foundations
World Religion Day is celebrated annually on 25 January across the globe. It was created by the Bahai faith in 1950 to allow followers of the faith to observe the day publicly wherever they may be. Now it is in its 65th year and celebrates all religions.
Today, the aim of World Religion Day is to unite everyone, whatever their faith. It aims to celebrate the common foundations to all religions and show that together it can help humanity, and live in harmony.
The 27 January marks is the Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 - the central vision of Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is to learn from the past in order to create a safer, better future.
The theme for HMD 2016 is: don't stand by. Information will be shared about the ways in which bystanders created cultures where genocides were able to take place, and about the rescuers and resisters who challenged this. HMD 2016 will encourage people today to consider the ways in which they can choose not to be bystanders.
Key Facts & Figures
In 2011, the Census collected information about religious identity. Just over three-quarters of the UK population reported having a religion, and 59.4 per cent said that their religion was Christian. After Christianity, Islam was the most common faith with nearly 5 per cent describing their religion as Muslim, with Hinduism at 1.5 per cent and other religions at 2.2 per cent. The Census also indicated that 24.7 per cent declared they were non-religious, while 7.2 per cent failed to state their religion.
There is a growing body of empirical research showing that meditation and contemplative forms of prayer have a range of measurable, beneficial effects on health and wellbeing. For example, increasing the ability to focus and be attentive, helping to manage stress, boosting the immune system, and helping to combat depression and boost creativity. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has some information.
Information and resources
- Healthcare Chaplaincy Faith and Belief Group (HCFBG) includes all nine world Faith groups. It works to facilitate a common understanding and support for chaplaincy among faith and belief communities, chaplaincy bodies and other providers of religious, spiritual and pastoral care within the NHS .
- A double-sided A4 'card' used by Ipswich Hospital has been produced by Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource, which outlines information about elements of the major world religions which may be useful to people in a healthcare environment.
- South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has previously used World Religion Day to highlight the key role and importance of spirituality and healthcare.
- Reverend David Southall, chaplaincy team leader at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, has put together a podcast and blog for NHS Employers. These show the compassionate care taking place daily in his trust, as well as the misconceptions about religion and spirituality and how to approach the subject with others. He is also on Twitter @revdavesouthall and @WeChaplains
- Beyond religion and belief blog by Razia Aziz, Multi Faith Minister and Equality and Diversity consultant. This blog describes her experience of viewing religion from three perspectives.
- Journeys’- My thoughts for Holocaust Memorial Day, Chris Butler, former Chief Executive of the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust talks about what world Holocaust Memorial Day means to him.
- Each year Holocaust Memorial Day Trust holds free workshops across the UK for people interested in organising an activity to mark the day on 27 January. The trust has produced an activity pack which contains advice and guidance for holding an event and is your first step for marking HMD 2016.
- Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust is holding the first Spirituality in Healthcare Event on the 28 January 2016. They have an exciting programme of speakers and sessions that will provide an environment for attendees to explore this important aspect of care.
- David Perfect, the research manager at the equality and human rights commission wrote a blog on the ongoing evaluation of the current legal framework on religion and belief.