Phoenix is a city that has mastered the art of blending diverse cultures into its landscape. The Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park and the Japanese Friendship Garden are just a few miles from the red cliffs of Camelback Mountain. The site of the region’s first synagogueSynagogue, shul in Yiddish, is the most widely used term for a Jewish house of worship. Meaning a “place of gathering,” it is the central institution of Jewish communal life. The structure and role of synagogues has changed through the centuries, but ..., built in 1920, became a Chinese-speaking churchThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ..., and then a Spanish-speaking church, before it was established as a Jewish Heritage Center. Phoenix is home to just under 1.5 million people, and presents a striking diversity of religious centers that includes twelve Buddhist organizations, four Hindu templesA Hindu temple will be called a mandir in northern parts of India or a koyil in the south. There are many styles of temples and temple-complexes, but most temples are laid out according to precise dimensions and proportions and erected to be the symbolic ..., seven mosquesMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit..., and two ZoroastrianOriginating with the teachings of the Prophet Zarathushtra in the second millennium BCE, the ancient faith of Zoroastrianism is referred to as “the Good Religion” in the sacred texts. Zoroastrians are encouraged to live out their faith through the pra... groups.
The impact of interfaith groups in Phoenix is visible on the streets and highways of Arizona. The Arizona Interfaith Movement, in conjunction with the state legislature, developed specialty license plates that read: “Live the Golden Rule.” Phoenix, in addition to its connections with national interfaith organizations such as Interfaith Worker Justice, Family Promise, and Interfaith Power and Light, is home to an interfaith airport chaplaincy and a number of congregation-based efforts.