this post

April 30, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Asia, Catholic, Christian, World, World

Comments Off

Judiciary (HC)

April 20, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Maharashtra

Comments Off

Read more

Cabinet Ministers/State Ministers

April 20, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Maharashtra

Comments Off

Read more

Secretaries

April 20, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Maharashtra

Comments Off

Read more

Persecution Map

April 16, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Persecution, Persecution Maps, World

Comments Off

View Full Screen Version of the Map

This is a Media Test Article

April 16, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Media

Comments Off

microfinance

April 14, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Economics, Microfinance

Comments Off

Micro-finance
Trinity World - The premium B2B Exhibitions & Business Events Company
To advertise in this space - Click here

Micro-Finance

STOP NOW!

The Bible is very clear & we can quote hundreds of Old & New Testament scripture passages, but for now just 3 from the Book of James will suffice:

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, not accompanied by action, is dead.”

- James 2:14-17

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was… but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

- James 1:22-25

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

- James 1:27

The CSF has decided to identify & focus on specific issues to be tackled in 2008, through micro-finance i.e. each one contributing just a few rupees to attack problems that society is facing. Some of these are – poverty, finance, education, disease, housing, database, resources, employment, etc.

Members / Donors (minimum Rs.2 /- per month):

The CSF encourages you to contribute first to your local parish / church & let the overflow come to us.

Only intimate us, so that we might join you in prayer -that the Lord may bless you abundantly.

Dear Friend in Christ,

We praise & thank God for the gift of you to the community. Jesus told of a parable, where the Word of God is like a seed, which falls on stony ground or is choked by the cares of this world & is unproductive. It grows a while, but does not bear fruit. Are you like that ? Are you guilty of the sin of omission -not doing the good, you can easily do ? Please ask forgiveness & get started.

Many Christian organizations are like that – often we join them, donate to them & leave it to a few office-bearers, who are happy to preside over meetings or maintain the status quo. An organization needs to be alive, growing & bearing fruit. It is said – if we can discuss a problem / issue; we don’t need to solve it ! The discussions can go on, while our lesser fortunate sisters & brothers suffer -Remember, we call God – Our Father.

VOLUNTEER

Many Catholics desperately need you to act. You don’t need to donate money -You need to serve in your own small way. Contact for how you can help or put someone who can do so in touch with us. Your connections & influence are of more use to The CSF.

DONATE

The Lord blesses a few with money, so that they can send The CSF to do His will. As Jesus said, the one who does the will of My Father is my mother, brother or sister. It is the will of God that you use the resources He has blessed you with to be a blessing, in blessing others. Praise the Lord -The CSF activists have been blessed by both physical & monetary blessings.
So even if you cannot get too involved, you can share the blessings that come from our ministry, by planting a seed. We encourage you to do so, at least on the following occasions:

  • Your Birthday / Anniversary / Engagements / Employment
  •  

  • Sacraments -births, deaths, communions, weddings, confirmations, holy orders
  •  

  • Feasts & Parties -Christmas or Easter get-togethers
  • In the PDF file below you can find information on co-operatives, credit societies, banks, etc.:

    micro_fin.pdf

     



    The Impossible Dream and the Christian Spirit of Enterprise

    by Steven L. D’ Souza, ex IPS, ex IRS Voluntary Retd.

    (Presently Financial Consultant, Legal Advisor on Indirect Taxation, SEZ, Foreign Trade to Top Corporates Across Country and Visiting Faculty in Business Management School)


    A verse from one of the most popular songs of all time, “The Impossible Dream”, sung by Andy Withall, celebrating the irrepressible character of the eternal dreamer Don Quixote and his understudy Sancho Panza in the famous classic, “Don Quixote” by Spanish writer, Miguel Cervantes, amply describes the spirit of enterprise embodied in all entrepreneurs.

     

    “To dream the Impossible Dream —-

    To try when your arms are too weary,

    To reach the unreachable star!

    This is my quest, to follow the star,

    No matter how hopeless, no matter how far,”

    From biblical times, the spirit of enterprise has been venerated, and the entire Old Testament in the Bible tells us the saga of the enterprising homeless Jewish people’s quest for the golden land and paradise which now constitutes modern Israel and Palestine. Similarly, the New Testament abounds with extracts praising the spirit of enterprise. In the gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus reminds us – “Blessings on you if I return and find you faithfully doing work” – Mathew 24:46.

    The most classic example is conveyed by Jesus in the Parable of kingdom of Heaven of three men given $1,000, $2000 and $ 5000. The man whom he had entrusted with $ 5000 and $ 2000 brought back $ 10,000 and $ 4000 respectively. The man given $ 1,000 hid it in the ground. In the parable, the master praised the man given $ 5,000 for his vision and hard work and enterprise, saying “you have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities”. (Matthew Chp. 25:21). Clearly Jesus in the parable tells us that enterprise and hard work and ability to get results is the key to multiplying the gifts of God, and for creating the kingdom of God on earth.

    Much of the epistles is a narration of Apostles Peter and Paul and the early Christian’s enterprise to spread the word of God. Much of the wealth created in the world today is the fruit of the Protestant, and especially the Calvinist ethic of the spirit of enterprise as the way to God’s kingdom and to Paradise. Right from the early immigrants, to the wild west, to the present economic success of Christian countries, the outcome of vision and enterprise spread over the past 2 to 3 centuries has been a story and a saga of wealth and growth created by primarily the pioneering Christian spirit of enterprise which was later emulated by other nations across the globe.

     

    However from Brazil to Spain to Portugal to the benign sands of Goa, the spirit of sussegad looms large over the less successful catholic brethren. We justify this lack of enterprise by two other famous extracts from the New Testament – “For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sins”. Timothy 6:10; and the second extract, “It is Easier for camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” – Luke 18:25. However we forget that both extracts criticize love of money-that is greed and over ambition. The spirit of enterprise creates wealth, through vision, plan and hard work which is for the good of society. The spirit of greed tries to multiply money without fruit of hard work. An entrepreneur works day and night and creates wealth, not through stock market manipulations or real estate deals or flies by night ventures or through reckless gambles and indiscrete risk. The Bible has criticized the greedy rich man, not the hardworking entrepreneur, something we should never forget.

     

    Two things stand out from the qualities that embody the Christian spirit of enterprise- First, A vision and a dream – Yes; everything starts with an idea, a vision, a dream. As Langston Hughes reminds us, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly”. George Foreman who knocked out Michael Moorer, many years his junior, at the age of 45, after coming out of retirement in the 10th round, and who became oldest champion in world heavyweight boxing history winning both IBF & WBA titles wants us to remember the song of all dreamers “When you wish, whoever you are, anything your heart desires can come to you if you just don’t give up on your dream”.

    An idea with a vision and determined faith and confidence, and concrete action can help you change the world you live it. The famous inspirational Christian writer, Napoleon Hill in his world famous best seller “Think and Grow Rich” summed it up beautifully “Whatever the mind can conceive, and the heart can believe, the human spirit will definitely achieve”. The second component of the Christian spirit of enterprise is , an action plan, perseverance, dedication, hardwork to realize that dream. Both the components are important for enterprise to succeed. The most enterprising people of our times, the Japanese, have a proverb. “Vision without Action is a daydream. Action without Vision is a nightmare”.

     

    We can take heart from the recent example last year of Sarath Babu who grew up in Chennai Slum, gave tuitions to complete studies and appeared for CAT exams, and qualified for IIM Ahmedabad, pawning among other things his sister’s jewellery, while his mother struggled with odd jobs from selling idlis to teaching kids at night. Refusing a secure eight lakh rupees per annum job, he instead started food business with a vision of high nutritive value and low cost. He started his enterprise with small contribution from friends and bank loan. Today his monthly turnover in excess of Rs.3 lakhs, and he continues to grow, and create wealth for himself, his family and other small families and for the nation and society.

     

    A popular present business bestseller, “How to change the World : Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas by David Bornstein : Updated Edition, Oxford University Press, 2007” narrates the stories of 10 visionary entrepreneurs many of them Christians . It includes people such as Fabio Rosa of Brazil who spearheaded rural electrification for poor farmers; Bill Drayton of the United States who instituted the Ashoka foundation to nurture and provided financial support to budding entrepreneurial leaders; Jeroo Billimoria who founded Childline in India, a 24-hour emergency response system to help children in distress; Erzsebet Szekeres of Hungary who championed the idea of assisted living for disabled; and Veronica Khosa of South Africa who started home-based care for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients.

     

    Most entrepreneurial activity, right from biblical times to present era, have prospered and grown in clusters, in groups, when like minded individuals all having vision and enterprise come together to create wealth for the community and society. It is this community spirit of enterprise that is the key to future growth and prosperity of the Catholic community in India, and other Catholic countries across the globe, The combined spirit of Christian Enterprise, should prevail over the individual laidback sussegad spirit, and the tendency for secure jobs should give way to well [planned and calculated business risks. Many such examples abound in India. The self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) started by Ela Bhatt in 1972 which has until now helped approximately 9.6 lakh self-employed women, including hawkers and vendors, home-based workers, manual labourers and service providers. Erode district in Tamil Nadu, has cluster of small and medium enterprises. Using loans given under priority sector using Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojna for generating self employment, this tiny district alone contributes 27% to the State’s GDP and 36% in services. The Kongu Vellalar Community achieved this enterprising success by modernising the traditional textile sector, and branching out into sunrise industries like construction, education, poultry feed, oil, bedspreads, etc. Presently, the Government of India in the present Union Budget has announced a mega textile cluster in Erode, as a pilot project for launching further community cluster enterprises across the country.

     

    Another successful example of combined spirited community enterprise succeeding even with he poorest of poor, is that inspired by Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner from Bangladesh, and the founder of the Grameen Bank. He reversed the orthodox banking theory, by showing how to extend collateral-free loans systematically, on a cost effective basis to poor villagers, particularly women. As one of its first models of social business, the Grameen Foundation, in a joint venture with the French food company Danone, runs a factory to produce fortified yogurt at affordable prices to bring nutrition to malnourished children in Bangladesh. Interestingly, not only the milk used comes from local people, but also the cows that provide the milk are bought with loans from the Grameen Bank. The company’s aim is to expand the business until all malnourished children in that country are reached with this nourishing yogurt very affordable price.

     

    A famous example of combined community enterprise succeeding in the suicide belt of debt-ridden farmers in our own nation, is that of Vanita Pise in drought stricken Mhaswad village of Satara district in Maharashtra, who set up a self help movement of 35 self-help groups in the village, who were trained to develop entrepreneurial skills by Mann Deshi Udyogini (MDU) in a 10 day course. Using microfinance, they made everything from paper cups to Prasad. In the year 2006, Pise received the Woman Exemplar Award from Prime Minister, and the rural institute was ranked alongside Harvard Business School in Economist Magazine May 2007 Global Executive Education report.

     

    The time has come to shed our sussegad approach, and to combine together, as a spirited enterprising community, which does not criticize each other, but which works together as a team, to attain real prosperity and synergy. The time as come to make use of budding talent and enterprise in our own community in the vast pool of educational and vocational institutes run by us across the country. The time has come for us to start living in the present and for the future, not just talking of past glories and achievements.

    Let us be inspired by the famous words of one of the most enterprising Presidents of the World’s most prosperous Christian nation, the United States of America, Theodore Roosevelt, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat”.

     

    Silvex Developers Pvt. Ltd.

    Rey Interactive - Website Developers

    Ms. Jane Rodrigues - Hearing Aid Centre

    HomeWork - Interiors

    SV Airlinks Pvt. Ltd.

    businesses

    April 14, 2011 by admin  
    Filed under Businesses, Economics

    Comments Off

    Directory
    Trinity World - The premium B2B Exhibitions & Business Events Company
    To advertise in this space - Click here

    Directory

    This is a page for Christian businesspersons & professionals. If you have a product / service to offer at a discount do let us know.

    Skills of Outstanding Leaders
    - Mac Hammond
    The Mission Message – Mac Hammond
    Business & Educational Loans To Minorities
    Directory

    Skills of Outstanding Leaders – Mac Hammond

    It’s one thing to have a vision. It’s another thing to have a sound strategy for making that vision a reality. Some leaders have the God-given ability to break an exciting vision into achievable steps, so an organization can march intentionally toward the actualization of their mission.

    A vision is powerful. It compels action. But people need to know how you plan to make it a reality. In the Old Testament, we read about a group of strategic leaders. We are told they had a keen understanding of the times that enabled Israel to know what to do.

    My question of the day for you is, “Do you have a sound strategy for implementing your vision?”


    The Mission Message – Mac Hammond

    What is your business or organization all about? Can you articulate “the message” in a single sentence? Can your staff? When every member of your organization can tell a total stranger what you are all about in a few concise sentences, you’ll have a unified core of workers focusing their efforts on a single long-term goal.

    But that can’t happen if you don’t cast the vision. The Bible says, where there is no vision the people are unrestrained. One of God’s keys to organizational growth is making sure you’ve put the vision before the people you’re leading.

    So the question is, “Have you?”


    Business & Educational Loans To Minorities:

    Recently, a prominent newspaper reported that a state-funded body, Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation must disburse Rs. 40 crores in small loans to minorities by march 2008. The Corporation in funded by the Government of Maharashtra as well as the Central Government. Our enquiries revealed that the scheme is especially designed to meet the financial needs of minorities (including christians) for business / self employment as well as higher education. Here is some brief information on it:

    Any body who has passed class 4 can apply for a loan: Rs. 5 lakh as term loan for business & Rs. 3 lakh for higher education.
    Interest rate range between 3 to 5 percent, which are much lower than the current market rate of 9 to 12%.
    For higher education purposes, the the entire amount applied for will be disbursed (upto a maximun of Rs. 3 lakh). In the case of term loans. 90% of amount applied for will be disbursed (upto a maximum of Rs. 5 lakh).

     

    It seems to be a great opportunity for Christian students and small-scale businesses/self employed persons requiring finance, and further details may be obtained from:

    Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation

    Old Customs House, Near Asiatic Library

    Ballard Estate, Mumbai

    Tel: 2267 2293 / 2265 3080


     

    The PDF below gives a list of some of the Christian businesspersons & professionals in the following Categories:

    • Automobile / Transport–Sales / Repairs / Hire

    • Chemicals / Lubricants / Paints / Pharma / Pesticides

    • Computer / Fax / Training

    • Construction & Real Estate
     

    • Custom Clearing & Forwarding

    • Electrical & Electronics

    • Engineering / Metals / Fabricators / Welders

    • Entertainment / Marketing / Export

    • Finance / Insurance / Legal / Manpower

    • Food / Hotels / Catering

    • Paper / Packaging / Printing / Publishing

    • Pest Management Services

    • Ac & Refrig / Fire / Security System

    • Rubber / Plastics / Glass

    • Services & Others

    • Shipping / Tours & Travels

    • Textiles & Garments

    chris_biz.pdf

     

     

     

    economics

    April 14, 2011 by admin  
    Filed under Economics, Sycamore

    Comments Off

    Directory
    Trinity World - The premium B2B Exhibitions & Business Events Company
    To advertise in this space - Click here

    Directory

    This is a page for Christian businesspersons & professionals. If you have a product / service to offer at a discount do let us know.

    Skills of Outstanding Leaders
    - Mac Hammond
    The Mission Message – Mac Hammond
    Business & Educational Loans To Minorities
    Directory

    Skills of Outstanding Leaders – Mac Hammond

    It’s one thing to have a vision. It’s another thing to have a sound strategy for making that vision a reality. Some leaders have the God-given ability to break an exciting vision into achievable steps, so an organization can march intentionally toward the actualization of their mission.

    A vision is powerful. It compels action. But people need to know how you plan to make it a reality. In the Old Testament, we read about a group of strategic leaders. We are told they had a keen understanding of the times that enabled Israel to know what to do.

    My question of the day for you is, “Do you have a sound strategy for implementing your vision?”


    The Mission Message – Mac Hammond

    What is your business or organization all about? Can you articulate “the message” in a single sentence? Can your staff? When every member of your organization can tell a total stranger what you are all about in a few concise sentences, you’ll have a unified core of workers focusing their efforts on a single long-term goal.

    But that can’t happen if you don’t cast the vision. The Bible says, where there is no vision the people are unrestrained. One of God’s keys to organizational growth is making sure you’ve put the vision before the people you’re leading.

    So the question is, “Have you?”


    Business & Educational Loans To Minorities:

    Recently, a prominent newspaper reported that a state-funded body, Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation must disburse Rs. 40 crores in small loans to minorities by march 2008. The Corporation in funded by the Government of Maharashtra as well as the Central Government. Our enquiries revealed that the scheme is especially designed to meet the financial needs of minorities (including christians) for business / self employment as well as higher education. Here is some brief information on it:

    Any body who has passed class 4 can apply for a loan: Rs. 5 lakh as term loan for business & Rs. 3 lakh for higher education.
    Interest rate range between 3 to 5 percent, which are much lower than the current market rate of 9 to 12%.
    For higher education purposes, the the entire amount applied for will be disbursed (upto a maximun of Rs. 3 lakh). In the case of term loans. 90% of amount applied for will be disbursed (upto a maximum of Rs. 5 lakh).

     

    It seems to be a great opportunity for Christian students and small-scale businesses/self employed persons requiring finance, and further details may be obtained from:

    Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation 

    Old Customs House, Near Asiatic Library

    Ballard Estate, Mumbai

    Tel: 2267 2293 / 2265 3080


     

    The PDF below gives a list of some of the Christian businesspersons & professionals in the following Categories:

    • Automobile / Transport–Sales / Repairs / Hire 

    • Chemicals / Lubricants / Paints / Pharma / Pesticides

    • Computer / Fax / Training

    • Construction & Real Estate

    • Custom Clearing & Forwarding

    • Electrical & Electronics

    • Engineering / Metals / Fabricators / Welders

    • Entertainment / Marketing / Export

    • Finance / Insurance / Legal / Manpower

    • Food / Hotels / Catering

    • Paper / Packaging / Printing / Publishing

    • Pest Management Services

    • Ac & Refrig / Fire / Security System

    • Rubber / Plastics / Glass

    • Services & Others

    • Shipping / Tours & Travels

    • Textiles & Garments

    chris_biz.pdf

     

     

     

    schemes and programs

    April 14, 2011 by admin  
    Filed under National, Schemes & Programs

    Comments Off

    Religion -> Minorities
    Trinity World - The premium B2B Exhibitions & Business Events Company
    To advertise in this space - Click here

    Issues

    Government of India
    Ministry of Minority Affairs

    Scheme of Post-Matric Scholarship

    for Students belonging to
    the Minority Communities
    (Effective from 29.11.2007)

    Govt nod for 25 lakh Pre-matric Scholarships for Minorities:

     

    NEW DELHI (ICNS): The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Wednesday approved a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of pre-matric scholarship for students belonging to the minority communities through the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations.

    The funds to the tune of Rs.1868.50 crore during the XI Five Year Plan (2007-2012) have been approved for the Scheme. Out of this, an amount of Rs.1408.40 crore will be borne by Centre whereas Rs.460.10 crore will be shared by the States. Union Territories would be provided 100 per cent Central assistance.

    The scheme will be launched during the financial year 2007-08, targeting 25 lakh scholarships for the XIth Five Year Plan (2007-2012). The scholarships will be awarded to students from the minority communities for studies in India in Government or private schools from class I to class X, including residential Government institutes, and eligible private institutes selected and notified in a transparent manner by the State Governments/UTs concerned. 30% of the scholarships will be earmarked for girl students of each minority community in a State / Union Territory and will be transferable to boy students only if eligible girl students are not available.

    The maximum ceiling of tuition fee entitlement would be Rs.350 per month, subject to actuals. The rates of maintenance allowance would be Rs.600 per month for hostellers from class VI onwards, subject to actuals and Rs.100 per month for day-scholars from class I onwards. Admission fee from class VI onwards would be Rs.500 per annum subject to actuals.

    25 lakh scholarships will be given to the meritorious students belonging to the notified minority communities during XI Five Year Plan period for their empowerment through education which is expected to lead to mainstreaming of the minority communities.

    CSF hails 25 lakh Pre-matric Scholarships for Minorities:

     

    The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), the activist community NGO, welcomes the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of pre-matric scholarship for students belonging to the minority communities through the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations. The funds to the tune of Rs.1868.50 crore during the XI Five Year Plan (2007-2012) have been approved for the scheme. Out of this, an amount of Rs.1408.40 crore will be borne by Centre whereas Rs.460.10 crore will be shared by the States. Union Territories would be provided 100 per cent Central assistance.

    According to the CSF general secretary, Mr. Joseph Dias, it is now necessary for the various minorities to create awareness about the scheme within their communities, so that maximum deserving candidates could benefit. The scholarships will be awarded to students from the minority communities for studies in government or private schools from class I to class X, including residential Government institutes, and eligible private institutes selected and notified in a transparent manner by the State Governments/UTs concerned. Further, 30% of the scholarships are earmarked for girl students of each minority community in a State/Union Territory and will be transferable to boy students only if eligible girl students are not available.

    Mr. Joseph Dias, said that, if each minority group took the initiative, begining from the clergy of that respective faith, the 25 lakh scholarships will go a long way towards recognising meritorious students, empowering them and bringing them into the national mainstream. “As of today, most minorities, the Christians included are on the periphery, largely due to lack of incentives for their education. Subsequently, minorities are no where found, when it comes to national services, employment or even small business. The girl child, continues to remain a grossly neglected segment and such a scheme will go a long way, in elevating the status of the minorities”, he added. The maximum ceiling of tuition fee entitlement would be Rs.350 per month, subject to actuals. The rates of maintenance allowance would be Rs.600 per month for hostellers from class VI onwards, subject to actuals and Rs.100 per month for day-scholars from class I onwards. Admission fee from class VI onwards would be Rs.500 per annum subject to actuals.

    The CSF thanks Mr. A R Antulay, Union Minorities Affairs Minister and the Union Finance Minister, Mr. P Chidambaram for the initiative and the community NGO will do much to popularise the scheme, since its success will largely depend on its proper implementation.


     

    Young Christians learn about Islamic principles:

    JAKARTA (UCAN): An Islamic institute is conducting a course to teach Protestant youths about Islam and pluralism.

    Wahid Institute, initiated by former president Abdurrahman Wahid, is cooperating with the Crisis Center of the Christian Church of Indonesia (GKI, Indonesian acronym) in running the four-session course.

    Thirty GKI youths including students, writers, broadcasters and social activists attended the first three-hour session on Islam and Believers of Other Religions, held on Jan. 18 at the institute’s hall in Jakarta.

    The Friday-evening sessions run through Feb. 8 and will end with a three-day live-in program in a pesantren, or Islamic boarding school, in Yogyakarta, 420 kilometers southeast of the capital.

    Subsequent sessions are titled The Map and Movement of Contemporary Islam; Islam, Politics, and Formalization of Shari’a; and Islam and Its Believers’ Problems. Shari’a is the Islamic legal code.

    Course coordinator Moqsith Ghazali told UCA News the curriculum was set up in consultation with the Protestant School of Theology, the Jesuit-run Driyarkara School of Philosophy and several pastors.

    The idea behind the interfaith program, he said, is to help people who are not Muslims know Islam and its views on religious pluralism firsthand.

    Materials published by the institute, which has the motto Seeding Plural and Peaceful Islam, say it aims to develop moderate Islamic thought, and promote democratic reform, religious pluralism, multiculturalism and tolerance among Muslims in Indonesia and worldwide.

    Wahid and Maftuh Kholil were the speakers at the Jan. 18 session. Wahid, popularly known as Gus Dur, headed Nahdlatul Ulama (NU, awakening of Islamic scholars), the largest Indonesian Islamic organization, before becoming president from 1999 to 2001. NU claims 40 million members.

    Kholil, an interreligious dialogue activist, is head of the NU municipal board in Bandung, capital of West Java province, where he also runs a pesantren.

    Islam has a pluralistic worldview, Wahid told the young Protestants. He quoted from the Qur’an: “Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.” This, he said, “is the essence of pluralism — people may follow different religions.”

    Wahid admitted he himself finds it difficult to understand the Qur’an. “So you also must carefully read your Bible,” he advised.

    Participants told the former president about attacks on churches by certain Muslim groups and asked his help.

    One participant, Renata, requested that Wahid and NU protect Christian religious activities and help Christians obtain building permits for churches. “Christians need Muslims’ support,” she told Wahid, adding her hope that he would “help us solve many problems in dealing with other Muslims.”

    Kholil, in his talk, recalled Prophet Muhammad’s six basic social principles: equality and brotherhood, freedom, mutual protection, mutual help, peace and tolerance.

    He said the Prophet’s first act after arriving in Medina in A.D. 622, was to establish the Shahifah Madinah (Medina charter), “a common commitment that all citizens are united in one society, and that they always work together to develop and solve social problems in Medina.”

    Kholil recalled that on Nov. 10, his NU board invited Buddhist, Catholic, Confucian, Hindu, Muslim and Protestant leaders for a meeting at its office on Sancang Road.

    “After talking, sharing and discussing the (religious) situation in the city, we, 17 religious leaders, agreed, signed and declared a common five-point commitment.”

    Their Sancang Charter says: “We, people of different religions in Bandung, are part of the Indonesian nation and uphold unity and oneness. We support human values, and always strive to uphold the law in realizing welfare, justice and harmony for the common good. We uphold tolerance, consideration and mutual respect; and work together in solving social and environmental problems.”

    Kholil said he and NU members also visited churches and cathedrals in Bandung to distribute flowers to Christians on Christmas Day 2006. He also said he garlanded Catholic and Protestant leaders on the occasion.

    According to Kholil, the chairman of NU’s central board, Said Agil Siradj, said in his address during the Nov. 10 meeting: “NU, the majority, must protect the minority. It is the principle of NU. NU is ready to serve as protector of people’s safety in the whole of the Republic of Indonesia.”

    The present course is the Wahid Institute’s fourth interreligious program. Previous programs were held for Protestant pastors and theologians.


     

    ISLAMIC SHARIAH INVESTMENT – an example for Indian Christians:

    Maulana Burhanuddin of Markazul Ma’arif (Mumbai) offers religious guidance to a small group of financial consultants, who are showing the path of Islamic investment to the faithful…. India has the second largest population of Muslims, after Indonesia. Mainstream banks like HSBC, Standard Chartered, ABN Amro & Citibank offer Islamic banking…. Of the 4,800 odd companies listed on the BSE & NSE, there are about 800 that comply with the Shariah – Islamic law. Another consultant, Parsoli Corporation, regards 58% of BSE market cap and 84% of the Nifty as Shariah-compliant.

    Maulana Burhanuddin says that Islam considers the aspect of social responsibility & economic justice so crucial to society, that the concept of zakat (charity) ranks among the five basic tenets of that the religion holds dear. Islamic investment consultants point out that it is also incumbent upon a Muslim to invest his money, in economic activity rather than allow it to lie idle.

    The campaign (to promote Islamic investment), targeting the vast middle class, with increasing disposable income, but a conservative mindset – that is wary of transgressing religious guidelines. So while, the likes of Idafa Investments held workshops in Hyderabad & Mumbai, Parsoli Corp will travel to Srinagar, with the Maulana. Zafar Sareshwala, MD & CEO of Parsoli impresses the merits upon an audience, which often includes women – The present system of banking is only about 200 years, whereas Islam developed a full-fledged, foolproof system 1,400 years ago. The ban on paying & seeking interest in our religion, is to remove the disparities between the lender & borrower.

    This is done to ensure that each person participates in economic activity by contributing what he can. Islam says that the risks & rewards of business be shared, as per one’s contribution. So the lender puts in the capital, while the borrower contributes his skill. Should the business fail, the lender stands to lose his money, but the borrower also loses the skill, etc. he invested. So why should the lender have power over the borrower?

    The aim is to bring the Muslim masses into the mainstream of the Indian economy, via the route of Islamic investment, says his brother, Uves Sareshwala, Jt MD of Parsoli. Along with the stocks of banks that charge interest, sectors like liquor, tobacco, gambling & certain forms of entertainment are prohibited under Islam. Companies can fall out of favour should it be discovered that they are following unethical business practices or polluting the environment, which is another negative by Islamic rules. Islam does not sanction song & dance, so film production houses would not make it as a Shariah compliant investment.

    Ashraf Mohamedy, MD of Idafa cites the case of a popular afternoon paper in Mumbai, which had to be taken off the list because somebody pointed out that it carried “offensive” pictures on a daily basis. (remember, The Catholic Secular Forum’s objections to Mid-Day mate, featuring on its regular page 3, a semi-nude model, bearing a cross on her panty, while playing with a chain that resembled the Rosary ? Mid-Day thereafter apologized, when threatened with action)

    - Times of India, Mumbai, 20th May, 2007

    Shariah Infra Fund:

    India’s first Shariah compliant infrastructure fund is on its way. The 2i Capital Group, which operates in India, UK & Mauritius, in a consortium with Oman-based Amwal Investment SAOC has launched a $ 300 million offshore Shariah Compliant India Infrastructure Development Fund, registered with SEBI and based in Mauritius. “A lot of money is being allocated for India from the Middle-East. We are looking at tapping investors from the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) countries”, said Vivek Sekhar, promoter of the 2i Capital Group.

    - Economic Times, 13th June, 2007

    Islamic Nations Meet to Usher Golden Age:

    Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, UAE & Pakistan, challenged Islamic countries to work together to create a golden age to liberate Muslims from poverty, conflict & extremism. “We are now at the crossroads in our history as an ummah – Muslim community. Never in the history of the ummah have we faced such great odds”, Malaysian PM, Abdullah Badawi told those attending the World Islamic Economic Forum. While the nations of the west (are these mistaken to be Christian?) bask in the glory of their global ascendancy, Muslim nations were largely consigned to what people term as The Third Word, he said. The PM noted that 57 members of the Islamic Conference accounted for only 5 % of the world’s gross domestic product (2005), despite comprising 21% of the global population.

    Mr Abdullah Badawi said that Muslim nations must take bold measures, including investing in education (his country invested 8 % of GDP on education) and those taken by the UAE, which recently announced a $ 10 Billion endowment fund for investments in education across Muslim nations. Indonesian President, Susilo BambangYudhoyono, who leads the world’s most populous Muslim country said, Islamic nations can work “as a collective force” for their own development, because they currently supply 70 % of the world’s energy requirements & 40 % of raw material exports globally.

    “We in the Islamic ummah can achieve true solidarity among ourselves…. And reclaim the eminence that we enjoyed in the Golden Age of Islam”, Yudhoyono said. He suggested Muslim countries remove trade barriers to boost business & encourage tourism. Kuwait’s PM, Sheik Nasser AMAS said another challenge is to promote dialogue with the rest of the world, especially “to refute activities by a minority of Muslims, who do not represent the tolerance of Islam”. Sheik Saud Bin SAQ, Crown Prince, Ras-Al-Khaimah, UAE said such efforts to improve ties was necessary, because “the Muslim world is not an island, it is part of the larger world”.

    Zahid Hamid, Pakistan’s minister of privatization & investment, said that a widening ideological chasm between the west & the Islamic world had resulted in Muslims “paying the highest price, for being caught in the clash between extremism & modernization.

    - Associated Press, KL, 28th May 2007

    Muslim ‘Moolah’ to boost India growth :

    On September 11, 2001, the world changed for almost everybody in the planet. The case of Islamic investors was no different. But Indian industry sources engaged in promoting Islamic finance and investment expect an investment of at least one billion US dollars in Shariah-compliant Indian companies in the next one year. Shariah is the Islamic legal framework covering all aspects of lives of Muslims – private and public – including trade, commerce and business.

    Keeping in view the immense opportunities of Islamic investment in India in future, Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund has launched an Islamic fund worth $300 million to enable Islamic investors to invest in Indian stocks in a shariah-compliant way. A few months ago, a Bangalore-based venture capital firm named ’2iCapital’ placed 250 million in an Islamic fund.

    Kuwait-based Khaleej Finance and Investment also recently invested US $250 million in shariah-compliant venture in India and Beary’s Investments, a Middle-East investment group, made an investment of over US $50 million in real estate in Bangalore just two months ago. This suggests that India is emerging as an investment destination for global Islamic investors.

    According to Dr Shariq Nisar, an expert on Islamic investment and finance associated with Mumbai-based Idafa Investment Pvt Ltd, a stock brokerage firm adhering to Islamic economic norms, there is a clear switch of Islamic investors looking for alternate destinations owing to fear of freezing of their accounts in Europe and North America due to political and other developments in the last few years.

    As many as 180 Islamic Investment Funds, says Dr Nisar, have been floated since 9/11 and all of them are looking for investment out of Europe and North America. Another reason, says Nisar, for Islamic investors moving out of Europe and North America could be the low rate of returns in those countries where the GPD has registered a downfall in recent years.

    According to a study conducted by Dr Nisar, a number of Shariah-compliant stocks in India are much higher than in Muslim countries put together, thus providing immense scope of parking money by Islamic investors. He claims that 61 per cent Indian companies are Shariah-compliant against 57 per cent in Malaysia, 51 per cent in Pakistan and a mere 6 per cent in Bahrain. Giving details, he says that 335 of 1,000 listed firms at National Stock Exchange and 237 out of 500 listed at Bombay Stock Exchange are Shariah-compliant.

    “Surprisingly, the growth in market capitalisation of Shariah-compliant stocks was also found to be better than the rate of growth achieved by non-Shariah-compliant stocks,” claims Dr Nisar, saying that “Islamic finance is fast becoming a great success story of modern times”.

    According to Uvesh Sareshwala, director of Parsoli Investment Corporation, an Ahmedabad-based stock brokerage firm that adheres to Islamic investment norms and also created India’s first Islamic equity stock index, the Parsoli Islamic Equity Index, “Export earnings of Gulf countries have gone up and all of it can’t be invested locally due to little economic activities in Arab countries.

    To that end, Parsoli has recently prepared an 8-minute film showcasing India’s immense economic growth and its potential for investment. “Among other things, the film contains India’s rising gross domestic product, capital market regulation rules, number of Shariah-compliant companies,” says Sareshwala. Company’s managing director Zafar Sareshwala toured European countries showing the film to Arab and Islamic investors with a view to mobilise them to invest their money in Indian ventures.
    He says that scope of investment in real estate is limited but there is no limit of investment in stock market.
    He said there were certain misgivings among certain quarters in India about the launching of Islamic fund as they felt it would go against the secular character of the country. “But to motivate Muslims to invest, we have to launch Islamic funds, conforming to Shariah norms,” said Sareshwala.

    With Islamic finance industry at its infancy in India, firms and institutions in Islamic investment are facing shortage of qualified Islamic religious scholars as also bankers. “To meet the needs of Islamic finance industry, three institutes offering education in Islamic finance and management have been set up recently in Kerala (Calicut), Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) and Bhubaneswar (Orissa), offering postgraduate diploma in Islamic banking and finance,” says Dr Nisar.

    “Even Indian Muslim investors have shown great interest in investing in Shariah-complaint stocks,” said Sareshwala. While the local clientele of Parsoli is increasing at a rate of 10 to 20 per cent per month, Sareshwala hopes to achieve the strength of at least 20,000 in the next six months. Mumbai-based Idafa also claims a rise in the number of its clientele regularly. “There are more than 800 clientele with Idafa at present,” said Idafa’s Ubaid Chiprah.

    An Ahmedabad-based investor Sufiyanbhai Ibrahimbhai Kothwala said : “I was attracted to investing in stocks after I came to know that most of the Indian companies are Sharia-compliant. Earlier, I never invested in stocks. I have now parked my money in several Shariah-complaint companies and am also motivating my business friends to put their surplus in Shariah complaint stocks rather than stashing them at home or in saving bank accounts.”
    He says: “Shariah-compliant stocks are ‘halal’ (permissible) under Islamic finance laws while non-Sharia compliant companies are ‘haram’ (prohibited).”

    Another investor Usmanghani Lakhani, hailing from a business family, says a part of the family’s income was being invested in Sharia-compliant stocks because while the income from it is ‘halal’, it also multiplies the money which would otherwise have just depreciated by keeping at home.

    “With increasing awareness about capital market among local Muslims owing to educational growth among them, demand for Islamic investments has also gone up,” says Sareshwala, adding that is why his company had opened its franchisee in Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nanded, Bangalore, Rajkot, Srinagar and at four places in Ahmedabad…..

    - Zeeshan Ahmed / Commodity Online, AHMEDABAD

    <- Back to Religion

     

    Directory
    Trinity World - The premium B2B Exhibitions & Business Events Company
    To advertise in this space - Click here

    Directory

    This is a page for Christian businesspersons & professionals. If you have a product / service to offer at a discount do let us know.

    Skills of Outstanding Leaders
    - Mac Hammond
    The Mission Message – Mac Hammond
    Business & Educational Loans To Minorities
    Directory

    Skills of Outstanding Leaders – Mac Hammond

    It’s one thing to have a vision. It’s another thing to have a sound strategy for making that vision a reality. Some leaders have the God-given ability to break an exciting vision into achievable steps, so an organization can march intentionally toward the actualization of their mission.

    A vision is powerful. It compels action. But people need to know how you plan to make it a reality. In the Old Testament, we read about a group of strategic leaders. We are told they had a keen understanding of the times that enabled Israel to know what to do.

    My question of the day for you is, “Do you have a sound strategy for implementing your vision?”


    The Mission Message – Mac Hammond

    What is your business or organization all about? Can you articulate “the message” in a single sentence? Can your staff? When every member of your organization can tell a total stranger what you are all about in a few concise sentences, you’ll have a unified core of workers focusing their efforts on a single long-term goal.

    But that can’t happen if you don’t cast the vision. The Bible says, where there is no vision the people are unrestrained. One of God’s keys to organizational growth is making sure you’ve put the vision before the people you’re leading.

    So the question is, “Have you?”


    Business & Educational Loans To Minorities:

    Recently, a prominent newspaper reported that a state-funded body, Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation must disburse Rs. 40 crores in small loans to minorities by march 2008. The Corporation in funded by the Government of Maharashtra as well as the Central Government. Our enquiries revealed that the scheme is especially designed to meet the financial needs of minorities (including christians) for business / self employment as well as higher education. Here is some brief information on it:

    Any body who has passed class 4 can apply for a loan: Rs. 5 lakh as term loan for business & Rs. 3 lakh for higher education.
    Interest rate range between 3 to 5 percent, which are much lower than the current market rate of 9 to 12%.
    For higher education purposes, the the entire amount applied for will be disbursed (upto a maximun of Rs. 3 lakh). In the case of term loans. 90% of amount applied for will be disbursed (upto a maximum of Rs. 5 lakh).

     

    It seems to be a great opportunity for Christian students and small-scale businesses/self employed persons requiring finance, and further details may be obtained from:

    Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation

    Old Customs House, Near Asiatic Library

    Ballard Estate, Mumbai

    Tel: 2267 2293 / 2265 3080


     

    The PDF below gives a list of some of the Christian businesspersons & professionals in the following Categories:

    • Automobile / Transport–Sales / Repairs / Hire

    • Chemicals / Lubricants / Paints / Pharma / Pesticides

    • Computer / Fax / Training

    • Construction & Real Estate
     

    • Custom Clearing & Forwarding

    • Electrical & Electronics

    • Engineering / Metals / Fabricators / Welders

    • Entertainment / Marketing / Export

    • Finance / Insurance / Legal / Manpower

    • Food / Hotels / Catering

    • Paper / Packaging / Printing / Publishing

    • Pest Management Services

    • Ac & Refrig / Fire / Security System

    • Rubber / Plastics / Glass

    • Services & Others

    • Shipping / Tours & Travels

    • Textiles & Garments

    chris_biz.pdf

     

     

     

    Next Page »