Dialogue Knowledge Hub

Protecting The Vulnerable: A Multireligious Call For Solidarity And Action

Online Zoom Application
03:00 pm
30 June 2020
Dr. Kezevino Aram
Chief Rabbi David Rosen
Dr. Mohammad Sammak
Rev Richard Sudworth

COVID-19 has reminded us all of the need to live up to one of the noblest human instincts – to protect the vulnerable.  This instinct has always found particular expression in the revelations, traditions and pastoral practices of the major religions.

The vulnerable can be those who contract the disease itself, those left behind after a loved one succumbs, or those affected by COVID’s collateral effects such as poverty due to loss of income, the collapse of markets and fragile subsistence economies. In many countries of the Global North the elderly have been particularly vulnerable, with many dying alone in care homes.  Domestic violence and child abuse and neglect have soared. In a number of regions, there are active violent conflicts which constitute major obstacles to responding to the disease and social and political fault lines are deepening.

Religious leaders have a particular expertise in identifying and looking after the needs of those afflicted by the disease.

In this webinar with members of KAICIID’s own multireligious Board of Directors, we will examine questions such as the social, pastoral, political, economic and cultural challenges presented by this escalating crisis, and explore how religious leaders have acted upon their responsibilities to intervene in response to the pandemic. How have they engaged in efforts to represent the emerging needs of local societies to policymakers? What should religious leaders be saying to policy makers and the public, as the disease progresses through parts of the globe less empowered to deal with its social and economic effects?

Dr. Kezevino Aram
Dr. Kezevino Aram

Director, Shanti Ashram

Dr. Aram has been part of interfaith dialogue efforts for the past twenty years. She has led critical child development initiatives globally and across rural India. Together with Shanti Ashram’s partnership platform encompassing 215 partners she is deeply committed to integrated human development initiatives. She founded the International Center of Child and public health in 2016 and through it multiple public health initiatives are currently being implemented for vulnerable children. Deeply committed to the Gandhian spirit, she has received several awards for her work and authored a variety of publications.

Career Summary:

  • Co-moderator and Executive Committee Member of Religions for Peace-International
  •  Chairperson of the International Ethics Education Council for Children at Arigato International
  • Member, Task force, International initiative to end child poverty
  • Member of the Governing Council, National Foundation for Communal Harmony, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India
  •  Trustee, M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation
  • Distinguished Member, Board of Management of the Gandhigram Rural University
  •   Founding Member of Namadhu Pangu, a social service outreach of Kumaraguru College of Technology
  • Alumnus and Visiting Professor of the Harvard School of Public Health & PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research
Rabbi David Rosen
Chief Rabbi David Rosen

Director of the American Jewish Committee's Department of Interreligious Affairs and the Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn Institute for International Interreligious Understanding

Rabbi David Rosen was the Chief Rabbi of Ireland and the senior rabbi of the largest Orthodox Jewish Congregation in South Africa. Today he is one of the most prominent Jewish leaders in the field of interreligious affairs.

Career Summary:

  • AJC‘s International Director of Interreligious Affairs and its Heilbrunn Institute for International Interreligious Understanding
  • Past Chairman of IJCIC, the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations
  • Honorary Advisor on Interfaith Relations to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel
  • Honorary President of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ)
  • Knighted by the Vatican in 2005 as Commander of the Order of Gregory the Great. Decorated CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2010 by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II.
Dr. Mohammad Sammak

Secretary General of the Committee for Islamic-Christian Dialogue

For Dr. Sammak, dialogue is a way of life. It is the culture of building bridges between peoples of different religions and cultures, and the art of searching for the truth in the point of view of the other. 

Career Summary:

  • Secretary-General of Lebanon’s National Committee for Christian-Muslim Dialogue
  • Secretary-General of the Islamic spiritual Summit (Sunnit-Shiit-Druze-Alawite) in Lebanon
  • Secretary of the Arab Group for Christian-Muslim Dialogue.
  • Member of the Board of Presidents of the World Conference Religion for Peace – New York
  • Writer and political commentator in important Newspapers like Al-Ittihad – Abu Dhabi and Al-Mustaqbal – Beirut and author of 30 books
Rev Richard Sudworth

Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury

  • Appointed Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury and National Inter Religious Affairs Advisor in September 2018.
  • Served in the inner city ministry of the Diocese of Birmingham for 15 years.
  • Commenced his interfaith journey as a Church Mission Society (CMS) mission partner in North Africa and then as a curate and parish priest in multifaith settings.
  • Holds a doctorate in Christian-Muslim Relations from Heythrop College University of London and is the author of articles and publications on Christian-Islam relations including Distinctly Welcoming: Christian Presence in a Multifaith Society and Encountering Islam: Christian-Muslim Relations in the Public Square.
Mohammed Abu-Nimer

Professor, School Of International Service, American University & Senior Adviser, KAICIID

Prof. Abu-Nimer is a Senior Adviser to KAICIID and a professor at the School of International Service at American University. ​At the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program he served as Director of the Peacebuilding and Development Institute (1999-2013). He has conducted interreligious conflict resolution training and interfaith dialogue workshops in conflict areas around the world, including Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Chad, Niger, Iraq (Kurdistan),  Philippines (Mindanao), and Sri Lanka. He also founded Salam Institute for Peace and Justice, an organization that focuses on capacity building, civic education, and intrafaith and interfaith dialogue. In addition to his numerous articles and books, Dr. Abu-Nimer is the co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development.  


Nayana Jayarajan

Chief of Public Affairs, KAICIID

Nayana Jayarajan has over a decade of experience in journalism, and in strategic communications for intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. For over four years, she established and managed communications for the International Press Institute, where she also provided subject expertise on issues of freedom of expression online and in social media, and on press freedom issues in South Asia. She has also managed media outreach and external communications for the Nabucco project, an intergovernmental European energy initiative. She has previously worked as a reporter with India’s national newspaper, the Hindu, and as a news producer for global news network CNBC, and managed advocacy and outreach for a global climate change initiative for Greenpeace, focusing on driving policy change through communications.

Her work as a journalist and researcher has been cited and published by international media organizations including Reuters, AFP, The Hindu (India), The New Indian Express, GlobalPost, and the Guardian (UK). At KAICIID, Nayana leads the team responsible for communicating the work of the organization to the wider world through website, social media, publications, multimedia, and other means. Jayarajan has a degree in Global Studies and International Relations from the University of Vienna, where she was an EU-funded scholar. She also has a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the Asian College of Journalism.