Religious Leaders of Scotland
Since 2002 the religious leaders of Scotland have been meeting faithfully twice a year. They have met in venues across Scotland, most often in faith community buildings. In the 17 years since they first came together, in Dunblane, they have discussed wide ranging topics; have supported each other in times of crisis; have encouraged their respective communities to support interfaith dialogue and engagement; have stood together as symbols of solidarity and most importantly have built lasting and meaningful friendships.
In 2018 the Religious Leaders met in the Synagogue in Giffnock and in the Baha’i Centre in Edinburgh. In Giffnock they were able to meet with teachers from the joint campus Catholic-Jewish School, (St. Clare’s and Calderwood Lodge), and explore what it means to share a school with an interfaith ethos; in Edinburgh they were able to meet with members of the emerging Scottish Interfaith Youth Forum and they also had an opportunity to consult with Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government.
Interfaith Summit with the First Minister of Scotland
For the past five years it has been a privilege and honour for the Religious Leaders Forum, Interfaith Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow and invited guests to meet with the First Minister of Scotland and during Scottish Interfaith Week 2018 once again the Interfaith Summit with the First Minister of Scotland was held. The Cabinet Secretary and the First Minister warmly welcomed everyone and then Rabbi Rubin shared the contents of a letter he had written to a school in East Renfrewshire after he had been spat upon by a school pupil. Rather than a letter reprimanding the pupil the Rabbi spoke of the impact that this act of hate and disrespect had upon him.
Further contributions came from Interfaith Scotland, Interfaith Glasgow and the First Minister sought direct input from four of the young people in attendance, members of Interfaith Scotland’s Youth Forum. 2018 had been the Year of Young People and so the contribution and insights from the young people were highly valued by the First Minister. Tackling hate speech and hate crimes, ensuring good relations, working together for the common good and the importance of hearing the voice of young people were all covered by the comprehensive agenda.