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A celebration of faith shared

A celebration of faith shared

Christian clergy at churches across the country will host readings from the Qur’an and other sacred religious texts as they welcome their Muslim and Jewish colleagues on Sunday, June 26, 2011 for Faith Shared.

Christian clergy at churches across the country will host readings from the Qur’an and other sacred religious texts as they welcome their Muslim and Jewish colleagues on Sunday, June 26, 2011 for Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding. Faith Shared is a project of Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First, which seeks to send a message both here at home and to the Arab and Muslim world about our respect for Islam. The National Cathedral in Washington, DC, along with 50 churches in 26 states have committed to participating in this effort. Other participating churches include Christ Church in New York City and All Saints Church in Pasadena, Calif. A full list of participating houses of worship can be found at Faith Shared.

Faith Shared seeks to counter the Anti-Muslim bigotry and negative stereotypes that have erupted throughout the country in the past year and led to misconceptions, distrust and in some cases, violence. This countrywide, day-long event will engage faith leaders on the national and community levels in a conversation with their houses of worship, highlighting respect among people of different faiths. This event will help counter the common misperception abroad that most Americans are hostile to Islam. It will send a message that Americans respect Muslims and Islam, as they respect religious differences and freedom of religion in general.

Faith Shared is designed to reflect the mutual respect shared among so many Muslims, Christians, Jews and other Americans, as they stand together to oppose the negative images that have dominated domestic and international news.

“The anti-Muslim rhetoric that has pervaded our national conversation recently has shocked and saddened me,” said Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy. “Appreciation for pluralism and respect for religious freedom and other human rights are at the core of our democracy. We believe that demonstrating our commitment to those core American values will help counteract the intensified level of negative stereotypes and anti-Muslim bigotry in our recent public discourse.

“With Faith Shared, congregations will send a clear message to the world that Americans respect religious differences and reject bigotry and the demonization of Islam or any other religion,” said Human Rights First’s Tad Stahnke. “This message about the fundamental importance of religious freedom around the world is especially timely as President Obama prepares to reaffirm the United States’ support for democracy in the Middle East starting with a speech later this week.”

“Few things are more important for the future of our world than to respect, to honor, and to commit ourselves to the well-being of every person—to embrace a sense of humility before the vast mystery of God,” said National Cathedral Dean Sam Lloyd. “As Americans and as people of faith, we must use our great traditions to come together for mutual enrichment and understanding.”

At its core, this project will bring together Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy to read from and hear from each other’s sacred texts. In doing so, they will serve as a model for respect and cooperation and create a concrete opportunity to build and strengthen working ties between and among faith communities moving forward.

H/T to Susan Russell at An Inch at a Time.

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