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Some Principles for Working Together

AFAN is a programme designed to facilitate dialogue and mutual understanding between people from diverse backgrounds of faith and belief. The AFAN team is drawn from the main faith and belief traditions in UK - Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh – and Humanist. AFAN’s main aim is to support colleges and teachers in helping young people to explore both shared values and beliefs and distinctive perspectives across different religious and non-religious traditions, focusing on what is shared rather than what divides.
AFAN team members are deeply committed to their own faith and belief traditions and to sharing and expressing them clearly and openly. We are also committed to working together for the common good. We recognise that our religious and non-religious communities actively invite others to share their faith, and we acknowledge their right to share their faiths and beliefs with others. In this spirit we have developed the set of principles below, (adapted from a set of ethical guidelines drawn up by the Christian-Muslim forum).


Six Principles

1) Faith and Belief is expressed not only through words but in values, attitudes, actions, practices and lifestyles.

2) AFAN is designed to facilitate dialogue between people from religious, and non-religious, backgrounds. No participant should seek to convert people to a faith or belief which is not their own. In the language we use, and in our materials and methods, we recognise that everyone has the right to make their own decisions about matters of faith and belief.

3) AFAN sessions often involve sharing our faiths or beliefs with others. This is done through open discussion, not by seeking to impose a particular view or position.

4) In dialogue and discussion, people may open up and share personal matters with a group. What is said in an AFAN group remains entirely confidential, and, especially since we work with children, young people and vulnerable adults, will never be repeated outside the group.

5) We encourage participants to speak clearly and honestly about their faiths and beliefs, even when that is uncomfortable or controversial, but do not permit anyone to demean or ridicule the faiths or beliefs of others.

6) We will make clear to participants the purposes of AFAN activities and the ground-rules for discussion.


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