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Reflections by Jeffrey LeCrone, Chair, Interfaith Dialogue Commission of United Churches
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Christchurch, New Zealand
Chances are that when these cities are listed together, you probably don’t have to read any further to know what the connection is. In the last year alone, these cities have seen attacks on worshippers from all three of the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The frequency of these sorts of events (all of them occurring less than a year ago) seems to indicate a growing tension between people of different faiths.
I fully expect that everyone reading this would agree with me that every one of these incidents was a tragedy. But it can be difficult to know how to respond. After all, we didn’t commit these acts ourselves, nor would we be inclined to it. But the evil that inspires this kind of thing is closer than we sometimes realize. For example, the shooter in the most recent of these attacks (San Diego) was revealed to be a member of a church that – according to the pastor, who was horrified by the attacks – does not teach extremist views.
I don’t have all the answers to why someone who was raised in a faith that teaches love would commit such an act. But I can suggest two things. Fear and ignorance. The two thrive on each other. So, on behalf of the Interfaith Dialogue Commission (IDC), I would like to invite you to do your part in decreasing both. Here are some ways we think you can do that:
- Read a book about interfaith relations, either by yourself or (preferably) in a group where you can discuss it.
- Attend an Interfaith Panel Discussion. There will be three around Lycoming County. There will be at least one representative of each of the Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) speaking at each panel. The purpose of the event is to create an increased understanding of the similarities and differences of the faiths, particularly in light of […]
Enjoy a day of fun and fellowship – oh …. and some of you golf too!
Here is a poster and registration form to download.