Dialogue Knowledge Hub

COVID-19 and Religion #ReligionsRespond

Online- Zoom Application
03:00 pm
20 April 2020
Subhi Dhupar
Shahid Rehmat
Rabbi Marcelo Bater
#ReligionsRespond by helping to prevent the spread of the virus and supporting those in need.



As the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, faith-based organizations and religious leaders are reaching out in support to those in need. 

This webinar, which is part of KAICIID's #ReligionsRespond campaign, will look at how local and global faith communities have risen to the current challenge: comforting those who are suffering, feeding those who are hungry, praying for those who are struggling, promoting good health practices, advocating help for the most vulnerable and perhaps most importantly, connecting people to one another.

Our speakers will take us through encouraging stories of generosity: from relief work with migrants, to hosting mediation calls, to the important role youth from diverse faiths are playing in fostering peace, harmony, safety and protection. The webinar will also explore useful tools and strategies for leading faith communities during uncertain times. 

Presentations will be followed by a Q&A session. 

Register and join the discussion!

Subhi Dhupar

Subhi Dhupar is a peace educator and trainer who works to promote interfaith harmony and religious inclusion among people of diverse cultures. Ms. Dhupar has pursued her honors degree from Lady Shri Ram College and South Asian University specializing in History and International Relations respectively. She is currently the Regional Director at United Religions Initiative (URI). At URI, Ms. Dhupar works on building sustainable peace by encouraging cooperation that bridges religious and cultural differences. Her willingness to serve the community and approach interfaith harmony pragmatically has helped her diagnose local problems and devise creative solutions on the field. She has been modelling an intergenerational way of working as an important solution to sustenance and effectiveness for over 60 grassroots groups that she mentors. Her mentorship includes guiding grassroots workers on resource mapping, capacity building, communications, and experiential learning. She also presented these experiences in 2019 at the Hoover Institution Stanford University at the Accelerate Peace Conference reiterating the role youth can play in bringing interfaith harmony. She is also acting as a technical and program advisor to major faith-based organizations and offices of the United Nations to counter issues like substance abuse and single use plastics in the marine ecosystem. Furthermore, she has conducted several welfare programs for women and children with the help of the Indian Army in Kashmir; advocated for inclusivity at the African Union as Madam Chair at the World Interfaith Harmony Week and organized an international interfaith conference in 2019 November with the UNESCO Chair at Banaras Hindu University. Her strong belief in the power of empathy and strength of human relations makes her an impactful community trainer and faith based facilitator. Her core competence in experiential learning helps participants from diverse backgrounds reflect not just on their identities but also understand the complex play of diverse religious backgrounds in polarizing societies. This has inspired her to engage with several international and national universities (Marquette University, O.P Jindal Global University, Banaras Hindu University etc.) diverse background groups, and youth-based organizations from countries like Afghanistan, Ghana, Nepal, and Turkey.

Shahid Rehmat

Shahid Rehmat is the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Development Foundation Pakistan (YDF), as well as a peace activist and social entrepreneur with a decade of experience working in the field of interfaith harmony and counter violent extremism (CVE) in post-conflict zones/no-go areas of Pakistan. He works at the community, national, regional and international levels through peace education, community resilience activities and policy advocacy. He has been organizing and facilitating diverse youth capacity development programs in collaboration with various organizations, UN Agencies (UNAOC, Minority Rights Group International), World Faith, UNOY and Ministry of Human Rights, Minority Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Government of Pakistan), etc. Most recently, Shahid was appointed as an Executive Member of the Punjab Youth Volunteers Force for the Corona Relief Facilitation Program, an initiative of the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The successful model of YDF was internationally recognized when Mr. Rehmat was invited to present on the importance of interfaith harmony for minority rights at the United Nations Minority Forum in Geneva in 2013, and at the UNAOC Global Forum in Baku in 2016 and Nexus at New York. He has had the privilege to work with global initiatives such as DFID, USAID, MRG and USIP, recipients of the prestigious ‘Emerging Leaders of Pakistan’ award, Acumen Pakistan Fellowship, and IFA and the German Foreign Service’s Cross Culture Fellowship. He has a Master’s degree in social work.

Rabbi Marcelo Bater

Rabbi Marcelo Bater is currently Rabbi of Dor Jadash Congregation in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Previously he was the Rabbi of Beth Israel Synagogue in Aruba and former Rabbi of Temple Beth Israel in Plantation, Florida, USA. Rabbi Bater was ordained from the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary “Marshall T. Meyer” and studied his last year of the rabbinical studies at the Machon Schechter in Jerusalem. He is an executive member of the Latin America Rabbinical Assembly and he participated as a Jewish representative in different seminars, workshops and conferences around the world (for e.g.: World Conference of Religions for Peace, AIPAC, Interfaith Kosovo, etc.) bringing the message of ‘shalom (peace)’ between different religious groups. Rabbi Bater is a member of the Latin America Jewish Congress and represented this institution in different interreligious conferences in different parts of the world. Rabbi Bater strongly believes that encounters between different religions is the only way to build bridges of peace around the world, and that religious leaders are responsible for that. A multi- faith and global initiative will create the environment to bring spiritual harmony and stop hatred between brothers and sisters. Rabbi Bater is very committed to interreligious dialogue in his community. One of his favorite mottos is: ‘First, do what is necessary, then do what is possible and thirdly, do what is impossible’.

Kyfork Aghobjian

Kyfork Aghobjian is the Programme Manager for the KAICIID International Fellows Programme and has been working with the Fellows Team since 2016. Aghobjian is a PhD candidate in International law at the University of Vienna, focusing on human and minority rights. After graduating from the Law School at Aleppo State University, Aghobjian continued his post graduate studies in the United Kingdom and received an LL.M. in International Law from the University of London/SOAS. He is a Fellow with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) and has work experience with UNDP, law firms and social foundations. He also has more than 15 years of experience as a member of several youth, cultural, voluntary and Scout associations. Aghobjian is actively involved in legal research, community service, youth and social activities, human rights advocacy, minority rights protection, intercultural and interreligious dialogue.