Odyssey Networks Joins Nobel Peace Prize Winners in Global Charter for Compassion Campaign
Historic Interfaith Effort Is Based on The Golden Rule
NEW YORK, Nov. 9 /Christian Newswire/ — Odyssey Networks, the nation’s largest coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith groups dedicated to promoting tolerance, peace and social justice through the production of media has launched a web-based campaign in support of the Charter for Compassion. The Charter is a collaborative effort to build a peaceful and harmonious global community by bringing together the voices of people from all religions around the core principle of compassion and the Golden Rule. After a year in development, its official unveiling has been slated for November 12 in Washington, DC.
Odyssey Networks, along with several of its coalition members (Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, American Society for Muslim Advancement, Interfaith Youth Core, National Council of Churches USA, and Intersections International) have joined the 100-plus partner organizations of the Charter for Compassion.
The Charter is the result of the work of Karen Armstrong, a leading proponent of ecumenism and the author of more than 20 books. She was awarded the $100,000 TED prize in February 2008 for her “wish” to create a “Charter for Compassion” which would apply shared moral principles to advance global understanding. Following the award, Armstrong, launched a worldwide online outreach in November 2008 asking people to submit their own words to the Charter. Within a month, approximately 150,000 people from 180 countries contributed. The final version was crafted by the 18-member Council of Conscience, whose members include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sister Joan Chittister, Tariq Ramadan, and Rabbi David Saperstein.
The Odyssey website will support the Charter with a powerful collection of stories of compassion and forgiveness from around the globe. They include a trailer of “One Last Shot: A Story of Redemption,” a documentary filmed at Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana plus commentary from some of the prison’s inmate hospice workers. Nick Stuart, veteran journalist and CEO of Odyssey provides exclusive interviews with Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish and Tzvika Shahak, member of Parents Circle-Families Forum, both of whom lost children to the violence in the Mideast. In addition there is a collection of video blogs on compassion experiences; and audio downloads from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s radio program “Grace Matters” with Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza.
“Its simple – compassion makes us human. It unites, it builds, it brings out the best in mankind, and each one of us has a story of compassion in our lives that is inspirational,” said Nick Stuart, President and CEO of Odyssey Networks. “Without it we are nothing. With it, we can move mountains, and religion inspires us to be compassionate in all we do. This initiative is inspired , and Odyssey Networks and its 51 faith group partners are delighted to bring their media expertise and collective drive to this vital world-wide project.”
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About Odyssey Networks
Odyssey Networks is the nation’s largest coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith groups dedicated to producing and distributing media that promotes peace and tolerance and addresses issues of social justice. Established in 1987, Odyssey Networks is a service of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, Inc. For more information visit http://www.odysseynetworks.org.
About the Charter for Compassion
Karen Armstrong had a desire to impact the violence attributed to religion around the world and wanted to remind people of the core similarity that lies at the heart of all religions — the Golden Rule. Karen won the TED Prize in 2008 and the Charter for Compassion was her wish. Global participation in an open writing process was the critical starting point for the creation of the Charter for Compassion. charterforcompassion.org was launched in Fall 2008 to allow people of all nations, all backgrounds, and all faiths to contribute to the Charter. The submissions shared began a conversation that will continue as the Charter is finalized and launched: http://www.charterforcompassion.org.
People from all over the world have contributed to this Charter; it transcends religious, ideological and national difference; it has been composed by leading thinkers from many traditions with passion, insight, intellectual conviction and hope.