Three Faiths Forum
The Three Faiths Forum (3FF) is one of the UK’s leading interfaith organisations. For 15 years it has worked to encourage harmony and confront prejudice. 3FF aims to build a lasting relationship between people of different faiths and also wider society, to achieve a society where religious and cultural differences can co-exist through empathy, respect and engagement. Not shying away from the manifest differences between the faith traditions and their many denominations, 3FF aims to prove through practical projects that diversity of beliefs does not rule out common action. Projects in education, engagement and action work to build more a more cohesive and inclusive environment, both within and between faith communities.
- 1 History
- 2 Projects
- 3 Youth and Education
- 4 Faith School Linking - Shared Futures
- 5 Mentoring Programmes
- 6 Urban Dialogues & Women ARTogether
- 7 Three Faiths Forum Middle East
- 8 References
- 9 External links
3ff was founded in London in 1997 by Sir Sigmund Sternberg, Revd. Dr Marcus Braybrooke and Sheikh Dr MA Zaki Badawi. They were concerned about the distance felt by individuals from different faiths and the divisions between some faith communities. Initially, 3ff focused on engaging religious, communal, and civic leaders through seminars and events. However, in 2006, they launched their first grass-roots programmes which now account for more than 85% of activity. Stephen Shashoua has been Director since 2006.
Programmes for young people are now a key focus of the organisation. In 2006 the Forum embarked on its Youth & Education programme, in 2007 it launched its first mentoring programme, and in 2008, the Forum launched a new branch in the Middle East.
Initially an organisation focused on relations within and between the Abrahamic faiths, 3FF has since evolved to work with all faiths, as well as those who do not subscribe to a faith.
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Youth and Education
3ff offers a variety of tailored programmes for 11-25 year olds in both single faith and mainstream educational institutions.
Tools for Trialogue (T4T)
Tools for Trialogue uses religious texts as the foundation for discussion. Based on the practice of Scriptural Reasoning, T4T is an interactive encounter with scripture. Extracts from the Tanakh (Jewish), New Testament (Christian) and Qu'ran (Muslim) on a particular theme are presented side by side. Facilitators from each of the faiths help participants share their views and facilitate discussion. The programme was developed with the advice and support of Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars and religious leaders.
Encountering Faiths sessions introduce school students to volunteer speakers of different faiths through a short presentation talking about their personal faith 'journey' and question and answer session. The aim is to help young people to draw connections with their own lives and those of people of different faiths.
Skills for Dialogue and Communication
Skills sessions teach young people to understand their interaction with others, how groups work, and to use conflict transformation techniques when talking about difficult of controversial topics.
The Shared Futures programme supports faith schools in delivering creative joint activities for young people from different backgrounds. Classes or groups of students are linked for a school year, learning together and getting to know each other. The connection is later extended to the whole school and the wider community.
The programme aims to engender in young people a curiosity about people of different faiths and beliefs, while maintaining a strength and confidence in their own beliefs. Training and support is also provided for teachers.
From its inception, the links have proven to be an effective way of reducing barriers between young people from single-faith institutions and the wider community in which they live. Schools have effectively managed to address their community cohesion requirements.
Three Faiths Forum’s mentoring programmes offer undergraduate students of Muslim, Christian and Jewish backgrounds the opportunity to work with leading professionals and gain invaluable experience in the fields they’re hoping to pursue after their graduation. Trios of students, one from each faith, are mentored by professionals (such as MPs, Peers, film-makers and senior business executives). Together, they create projects working towards positive social change while establishing new personal and professional relationships.
On the DocuMentors programme trios of undergraduates with a passion for film are mentored for a year by leading film-makers. They are given access to equipment and professional editors to support them in producing short films over the year. Participants learn about all the elements of film-making, from the legal issues to the technical skills.
Undergraduate ParliaMentors (UP)
Undergraduate ParliaMentors is a pioneering initiative launched in 2007 that equips the next generation of politicians and community leaders with the skills, experiences and networks they need to advance their leadership careers. In a year-long programme, trios of Muslim, Christian and Jewish students are mentored by parliamentarians, who assist them in developing social action and empowerment projects with support from leading NGOs. The aim is to effect social change today.
On graduating from the programme, participants join the Alumni Network of over a hundred members, many of whom are currently studying and working in the political field. MPs involved with the project include Simon Hughes, Lynne Featherstone, and Iain Duncan Smith.
Urban Dialogues & Women ARTogether
Urban Dialogues and Women ARTogether are 3FF's programmes aimed at artists. They give artists the opportunity to act as social change-makers within and between communities. The two projects differ with regards to their target audience: Women ARTogether addresses mainly women, while Urban Dialogues is for a mixed audience.
Urban Dialogues establishes ongoing interaction between artists and their communities by organising high-quality public events aimed at Muslims, Christians, Jews, and wider society. The project is by the Three Faiths Forum in conjunction with its partners: the Radical Middle Way, Art and Christianity Enquiry, and the Jewish Community Centre for London.
Women ARTogether is an art initiative involving Muslim, Christian and Jewish women who aim to use their talents as a vehicle for social change. By highlighting the respective communities' art work, the hope is to learn about one another as a means of overcoming barriers and stereotypes.
Three Faiths Forum Middle East
Three Faiths Forum works to bring people of different faiths together in the Middle East by offering encounters that lead to interaction with a lasting impact on people with strong identities caught up in both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Unlike in the UK, this provides a unique encounter between people of different faiths and cultures where this is otherwise unavailable. Although Israel is a mixed society where Jews, Christians and Muslims interact on a daily basis in institutions such as schools, hospitals, and offices, they rarely experience the deep faith-based encounter that is so needed.
Three Faiths Forum runs three Middle East programmes:
Young Peoples' Programmes brings together University-age Muslims, Christians and Jews for faith-based encounters.
Public programmes join Jewish Israelis and Arab-Palestinian Israelis of the three faiths in religiously inspired discussions.
Three Faiths Forum also works with other interfaith organisations to provide New Models of Interaction for existing groups, enabling them to try out different models of interaction to enrich and enliven existing relationships.