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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Some 50 priests and 50 imams, plus a number of lay people, met last Saturday in Savar (Dhaka), at a Qur‘an research centre to discuss ‘Leadership in a pluralistic society from the Muslim and Christian points of view’.
Organised with the support of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), the seminar was chaired by philosopher Obidur Rahman. The Italian ambassador to Bangladesh, Ms Itala Maria Marta Occhi, and Ms Kilmeny Beckering Vinckers, Australian deputy high commissioner, were present at the event.
In his address, Rev Paul Sishir Sarkar, bishop of the Anglican Church of Bangladesh, said that society today is increasingly pluralistic, and that mutual understanding and dialogue are increasingly important. In this context, an open exchange of opinions can be advantageous to everyone. For this reason, it is even more important for Christians and their leaders to lead a life according to their faith, with honesty, humility and openness to dialogue, for “Muslims are our neighbours,” he said, and as leaders, “we should teach our people to love them”.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Globalization Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Asia Bangladesh * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
It is hard for people in the rich world to imagine what it is like to live on $2 a day. But for those who do, the problem is often not just a low income, but an unpredictable one. Living on $2 a day frequently means living for ten days on $20 earned on a single day. The task of smoothing consumption is made more complicated if there is nowhere to store money safely. In an emergency, richer people might choose between dipping into their savings and borrowing. The choice for the great mass of the unbanked in the developing world is limited to whom to borrow from, often at great cost.
That they can borrow at all is partly due to the rapid growth of microfinance, which specialises in lending small amounts to poor people. Several big microfinance institutions (MFIs) also offer savings accounts: Grameen Bank in Bangladesh is a prominent example. But the industry remains dominated by credit, and the ability to save through an MFI is often linked to customers’ willingness to borrow from it. Of 166 MFIs surveyed in 2009 by the Microfinance Information Exchange, a think-tank, all offered credit but only 27% offered savings products. Advocates of a greater variety of financial services for the poor argue for more balance.
This may be on the horizon. More MFIs are becoming interested in the potential of savings, thanks partly to the global financial crisis....
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Globalization Poverty * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- * International News & Commentary Africa Asia Bangladesh
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