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Religions for Peace USA

Donna Bollinger Tapped to Lead Religions for Peace-USA

Donna Bollinger Tapped to Lead Religions for Peace-USA

by Paul Chaffee

She was raised in a home on a dirt road in rural western North Carolina, without indoor plumbing or a telephone. The family lived off the land and had never sent a child to high school before. Asked if there was some seminal moment, a particular experience as a youngster that influenced her for the rest her life, Donna Bollinger says “Yes!” 

Dangers of Legitimizing Bigotry

The origin of the word bigot dates as far back as 1598 and had a sense of “religious hypocrite.” While the story may be fictional, Wikipedia says “the Normans were first called bigots, when their Duke Rollo, who when receiving Gisla, daughter of King Charles, in marriage, and with her the investiture of the dukedom, refused to kiss the king’s foot in token of subjection – unless the king would hold it out for that specific purpose.

Religions for Peace USA at the Parliament

The Parliament of the World Religions gathers in Salt Lake City, Utah this October 15th-19th, and many of RfP USA’s religious communities will be presenting their work. Religions for Peace USA will be featured on two panels, we hope to see you there supporting our work. Don’t miss this chance to learn more and connect!

Our Muslim Neighbor

Creating a Community of Inclusion in Middle Tennessee Join us for this unique opportunity to learn from leading authorities on Islamophobia, community, and welcoming our Muslim neighbor. To register for this conference please visit: https://faithandculturecenter.org/fall-conference/

U.S. Senior Religious Leaders Convene on Race and Violence

The moments are few and far between when senior-level religious leaders of most religious communities get the chance to spend a whole day with grassroots community organizers working to end structural racism and religious prejudice.

“Heartbeat” Brings Israeli-Palestinian Music to Tennessee

What is truly amazing about Heartbeat is not their music. It is the way they make their music. A group of ten 14-22 year olds, all of them but one an Israeli citizen, often proclaim that their music is simply a medium for a deeper message. Clearly inspired by a desire to love across boundaries of race, religion and ethnicity, the members proudly observe that what they are doing is anathema in many of their home communities. They are embracing the other in a way that is both constructive and creative.

"Top 10 Things You Must Know About ..."

During the month of February, Religions for Peace USA (RfPUSA) is releasing a series of short educational videos inspired by World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW). The videos are viewable here. In 2014, RfPUSA and the El-Hibri Foundation (EHF) co-sponsored a “Best of Interfaith Webinar Series” for WIHW, featuring leading experts in the field. A short summary video of the highlights from that series is available here and the whole series is viewable here.

Restoring Bear Lodge’s Sacred Name

For the many Native Americans engaged with Religions for Peace USA through the National Congress of American Indians and other affiliations, sacred spaces and certain key geographic landmarks are essential components to their spiritual practices. They serve as places of prayer and as signs of their peoples’ identity and longevity in this country.

A Child Vows Silence for the Climate's Sake

As noted in last month’s TIO, communities around the world gathered for prayer vigils for the climate discussion going on in Lima,Peru. They were the #LightforLima, asking for strong climate action from the world’s leaders. The Our Voices campaign, a global multifaith campaign for a strong UN Climate treaty, is gearing up for 2015. But the work we do in 2015 depends on sharing the successes of our previous work. Light for Lima has been our best and brightest action.

Jainism – “Jain Teachings at an Interfaith Center”

With a vast diversity of member communities, Religions for Peace USA has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share about working for peace. These communities meditate, pray, advocate for justice, and work for a better world in many ways. Sometimes, simply hearing these stories can be inspiring for our own work. In this month’s issue, we profile a Jain community in Michigan, as Nirmala Hanke, M.D. leads us through some of the core tenets of Jainism and its applicability to our world today.

Join Your Name to the Global Climate Movement

On the evening of Sunday December 7, faith communities around the world staged vigils, calling for climate action. These vigils were organized through the Our Voices campaign, a global multi-faith campaign expressing the moral imperative behind climate change, of which Religions for Peace USA is a continental partner.

The Challenge of ISIS in America:  Perspectives of Interfaith Leaders and Peacebuilders

A complex history of religious, political, and ethnically based conflict has now thrust the world into a wrenching conversation around the significance of a terrorist organization calling itself the Islamic State (known by other acronyms such as ISIL or ISIS or simply IS). Here in the U.S., this conversation has broadened to a more volatile discussion around religion, secularization, Islam and human rights.

Allen Downey and the Internet & Religion Debate

This past April, Allen Downey, a professor of computer science at Olin College of Engineering, published his study on the relationship between Internet use and the decline in religious affiliation among Americans. His findings went viral. Downey concluded that the Internet is responsible for a growing number of Americans who do not associate themselves with a religion. Many news outlets reported on Downey conclusions, most without any criticism: a quick Google search of “The Internet and religion” results in nothing but paraphrases from this single study.

Faith Voices Unite Against Gun Violence

August was a month full of social strife and tension: global conflicts seemed to reach an apex, while hope in the possibility for peace was at a new low. At moments like these, it can be difficult to find outlets that guide us through the crises. The tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri turned the public’s gaze toward the weighty conversation of gun violence and racial relations. Yet within these challenges there are voices of hope. Religious traditions can be reservoirs of inspiration. It is in these voices of faith that we hear values that help to bridge the deep divisions of the world.

September 17 Religions for Peace USA Climate Event in NYC

If you read the reports on the impact of Climate Change, which – science aside – are bewildering enough, you might have come across a couple of repeated points. Let’s try and boil some of them down to plain language:

Catholics and Sikhs Together: Bringing Compassion to the World

An Interview with Dr. Anthony Cirelli

The Horizons of Interfaith Peacebuilding: Communicating its Challenges and Opportunities


Gearing Up to Fight Climate Change with Fletcher Harper

A Religions for Peace USA Webinar with GreenFaith

A “How-to” Guide on Fighting Religious Intolerance Online

New Resource to End Online Hate-Speech