18 March 2016

AN inter-faith event at The Salvation Army's International Headquarters (IHQ) brought together Christians, Jews, Muslims and others to consider how the three major faiths approach refugees. The Scriptural Reasoning gathering was linked to the Stations of the Cross art project, and Güler Ates – whose artwork 'Sea of Colour' hangs inside the front window of IHQ – was interviewed by the project's co-curator, Dr Aaron Rosen. She revealed the inspiration behind her work and explained how she had linked the current refugee crisis in Europe with the station of the Cross at which Jesus is stripped of his garments.

'Sea of Colour' is one of 14 artworks at a variety of locations across central London that form a modern-day 'pilgrimage for art lovers', progressing through the traditional stations of the Cross that mark the stages of Jesus' journey to Calvary. The 13 other iconic locations include St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, the Tower of London and the National Gallery.

The rest of the evening was spent in Scriptural Reasoning – organised by the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme – which is a process that encourages Jews, Christians and Muslims to read passages from their respective sacred texts. Together they discuss the content of those texts, with the goal being not agreement but rather the understanding of one another's traditions and deeper exploration of the texts and their possible interpretations.

Selections were read from the Jewish Tanakh and the Muslim Qur'an, between which Commissioner William Cochrane (International Secretary to the Chief of the Staff) introduced a portion of the New Testament and spoke about the Christian approach to the plight of the refugee and the significance of the crucifixion of Christ. The texts were then discussed in groups of around 10 people.

For more information about IHQ's participation in the Stations of the Cross project, go to sar.my/stations2016

Report by IHQ Communications
International Headquarters

Tags: Events, Refugees in Europe