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Cardiff Hosts Question Time during Inter Faith National Campaign Week

A panel representing a variety of faiths answered questions to help break boundaries between cultures.

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‘Do you find it harder to follow your faith at university?’

‘How does your faith help the community?’

‘If you could choose to follow any other religion, which would you choose?’

These were questions asked to students representing different branches of Christianity, Islam and Atheism at Cardiff University’s Inter Faith Question Time on Tuesday night.

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The Question Time Panel with Chair, Very Rev Dr Gareth Jones. Photo by David Sheen.

The evening ran as one of hundreds of events organised around the UK for the annual Inter Faith Campaign week. The national movement ran between the 13th and 20th of November, with events running both locally and nationally.

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“The Question Time has the basic ground rules that it is non-competitive, it’s not about my faith is better than yours, but it’s about sharing our faiths so that we can both learn something and there’s friendship building and understanding and shared stories,” said University Chaplain and Anglican Priest who organised the event, Rev David Sheen.

“Most people engaged in good faith, to use the term – they were questioning out of interest.”

Other events held in Cardiff included ‘When Religion Makes the News, ‘Inter Faith Pace Symposium’ and ‘Life after life?’.

“It can be very easy at a leadership level and then when you get down to the local churches or mosques, it’s trying to get ordinary people to interact with each other as well, forming bonds across the community,” admitted Father Sheen.

“Universities are naturally diverse places, with lots of cultures and faiths represented. It is relatively straightforward to gather an eclectic group of faiths together, in a way that if you are in a small market town it is probably not.”

Father Sheen continued to explain how the concepts behind these events could help to combat far right extremists.

“There is a lot of fear out there. Fear is built when we often don’t understand or recognise ‘the other’.”

“When the bonds of friendship and understanding are built, it breaks down that fear. Rather than making fences we seek to build bridges.”

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The Panel with their Audience. Photo by David Sheen.

To find out more about the national campaign, search #interfaith and #interfaithweek on social media, or explore the National Inter Faith website.