Boston-Area Interfaith Groups Work for Peace and Understanding

March 19, 2006

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 19, 2006 The Boston Globe reported, "Inspired by current events and increasing religious diversity in communities south of Boston, interfaith efforts have gained momentum in recent months, religious leaders say. It is increasingly common for an imam speak at a church or temple about the tenets of Islam, for believers of different faiths to hold group discussions about religion and current events, and for interfaith groups to rally against social problems. In recent weeks, for example, a South Shore interfaith group has been debating the backlash in the Muslim world against the publication of Danish caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, and a Bridgewater church is holding a series of forums examining the shared roots of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity called 'One God -- Three Faiths'... Carin M. Yasli of the Boston Dialogue Foundation, a group of mostly Islamic members that promotes interfaith efforts, said religious institutions have increasingly been reaching out to Muslims in an effort to counter stereotypes and promote understanding. At the same time, the foundation spends ''countless hours' reaching out to churches and synagogues throughout New England, she said... [Janet] Penn of the Sharon group Interfaith Action said personal exchanges between people of different faiths are the best way to overcome mistrust and apprehension. 'I feel very strongly in the power of dialogue,' she said. 'Sharing personal stories, more than political ideology, [is] the best way to promote understanding.'"