These lyrics from an old time romantic favorite, “You Mean the World to Me,” express the joy experienced in the interfaith movement. Starting as the movement did: acknowledging people from different religions with curiosity and respect, being fascinated by different practices and customs, meeting, speaking, listening, and learning together, the interfaith movement grew.
A Profile of the European Council of Religious Leaders
A Growing Diversity
United Religions Initiative (URI) Offers an Alternative
As an interfaith activist, I’ve worked to bring an end to religious division. In recent years, this has increasingly meant speaking out against the rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence sweeping America.
Death, destruction and United Nations preventive military efforts often command public and media attention. The other purposes and activities of the U.N. – concentrating, for instance, on developing respect for rights, preventing discrimination, economic development, and cultural coexistence – receive less attention.
“Community Organizing” made it into national news when Barack Obama’s work history was vetted in 2008. Though the pundits made quick judgments, precious few know about the scope and power that interfaith-based community organizing generates in America today. PICO National Network is one of the largest players. It was founded in 1972 as a regional training institute to help support neighborhood organizations in California through an interfaith congregation-community approach. Rather than bring people together around particular issues such as housing or education, one model, this broad-based approach makes values and relationships the glue that holds community together. Today PICO has 44 affiliated federations, including LA Voice, and eight statewide networks working in 150 cities and towns and 17 states. More than one million families and one thousand congregations from 40 different denominations and faiths participate in PICO.
“War no more.” That was the hope that inspired Charles Bonney as he explained in his opening address to the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions. Bonney believed that a major cause of conflict was “because the religious faiths of the world have most seriously misunderstood and misjudged each other.”i One hundred years later, Hans Küng declared that there would be “No peace in the world without peace between religions.”ii
On September 6, 2011, Claremont School of Theology, a distinguished United Methodist seminary with roots back to 1885, joined in partnership with The Academy for Jewish Religion, California, and the Islamic Center of Southern California/Bayan College. Together, they and a number of other affiliates have joined to create Claremont Lincoln University (CLU), an institution like none other before.