‘In each city and village of the world, an interfaith peace house’.
The goal of a peace house is to create a daily, accessible environment where prejudices, hate and stigmatism between people of different faiths, can be prevented or disappear through personal interaction. The peace house will at the same time stimulate internal and external peace by developing self-awareness and transcendental knowledge.
Practical: A house open seven days a week
from 8.00 – 20.00, with inside:
* a non religious meditation room with some universal pictures like a lotus flower or a lily
* a religious meditation room with some religious pictures and a few items.
* a library with books from all religious and humanistic traditions and a reading room
* a vegetarian snack bar with snacks and drinks like herbal tea, decaffiné coffee and other
non alcoholic refreshments. Herbal tea and biscuit can be free. TV is absent in the peace
house because of its materialistic influence (only video in a limited way)
* a playroom for children with qualified caretakers (parents who take shifts)
* separate meditation rooms for women (Hindu and Islam)
* extra: multi functional room for music, lecture, theatre, yoga etc.
Outside: some natural scenery, preferably a garden,
The peace house is a social facility like a library, a
school, a park, a swimming pool etc. and should therefore be paid by the
government. A donation box and membership fees will support partly maintenance
finances. The entrance is free. There are no age, race, religious or nationality
limitations. Animals are not allowed inside due to the hygienic rules of
It is an honour for a city to be able to have a peace house.
To secure an environment where there is understanding,
mutual trust and respect, the volunteers who run the peace house have to
receive a basic training. They work on a trial period before being fully
accepted. Volunteers can be students, unemployed or pensioned people or
others who are not in need of a salary. It requires a broad-minded vision,
an interfaith nature and social abilities.
They can follow a schedule and take shifts. Monthly the assistants meet to discuss and evaluate. To serve as a volunteer in a peace house is rewarded by more service. To be part of this family is the second reward. It gives joy and eternal benefit.
In order for people of all religions and cultures to feel
at home and respected, the four principles of freedom are strictly followed
in the peace house. To solve ones need or problem by causing offence or
pain to others, is an obstacle for peace. Therefore, out of respect for
all life we avoid:
1) meat, fish and eggs 2) intoxication (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs)
3) illicit sexual behaviour or half naked dress 4) gambling, business activities
Most churches and other religious institutions are closed during the week, although people pay church taxes. The peace house fulfils a basic need. It prevents and heals problems. It improves mutual understanding and helps to prevent spiritual and thoughtful people who are in search of friendship and understanding in this material world from going astray. It inspires less spiritual people to see alternatives and experience friendship, shelter, peace and the benefit of ethical and spiritual values.
July 2004. Rita Bouwman. Please feel free to contact us
with your suggestions.
Tel-fax: 00-32-3-2162969, firstname.lastname@example.org
We built a peace house in our hearts, then on the website and then in our cities
Method: First lobby for letters saying they would receive
benefit from a social institution like the peace house at the interfaith
groups, aa, police, jac, psychiatric hospitals, drug kick off centres,
scouts ea. Then we go with representatives of these groups and people
to an appointment with the mayor and the city council.
Grass root level possibilities for interfaith with people from all ranks in society
Many households are not harmonious and often people don’t
have a room of their own for some meditation or reflection. Outside the
churches and synagogue are closed except for their days of celebration
because of the possibility of vandalism and theft.
You don’t want, or have no money to go to a bar, café, coffee house with smoke a
nd alcohol and mundane talk. In many countries it is cold and rainy so to go to the park (if there is one near) is also not an option. The peace house is a peaceful alternative from material vibrations.
Time to kill between one meeting and the next, go to peace house for some inner peace.
Desire for some time on your own, with your own mind, and thoughts and heart.
Desire to be in a clean place where you will not be offered cigarettes, alcohol or worldly proposals. The peace house offers this.
A shelter for thoughtful and spiritual minded people from
today’s materialistic, commercial influence that is all pervasive and makes
people feel they are not normal because they don’t care for material careers
and hunting after money and material goods.
Internal peace which leads to proper behaviour to External peace
A place to gain transcendental knowledge
Misunderstanding, prejudices and hate between people of different religions can be avoided and go away because of encounter on a personal level.
The respect for diversity will be enhanced.
Many young people don’t want to go to the religious institution
of their parents any more.
This gives an alternative. It’s a ‘cool’ thing. Not connected to the mainstream.
Many people, especially young ones, don’t want to be seen as religious because it is seen by their friends as old fashioned. This is new, academic, alternative, and is not directly seen and experienced as traditional religious.
Certain families don’t want their children, especially girls, to go out to bars and disco’s where alcohol, cigarettes and sex are freely available. The peace house is a save place to hang out.
It can create a sense of belonging. Enquette result: “Youngsters join the skinheads to have a sense of belonging.”
Some youngsters from broken families could find a friend in one of the peace house volunteers whom they go to with their questions and problems. In this way the peace house would fulfil a parent function.
Shelter facility to be used by social workers, police, AA and other social institutions to give people some place to hang out, cool down, gain strength, feel a sense of social belonging.