Discovering Religious Pluralism on a 10-Day Trip to Turkey

November 2, 2002

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On November 2, 2002 The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, members of each religious community have worried over what they see as increasing intolerance around Georgia and the United States, especially for Muslims. [A] 10-day trip to Turkey, a secular Middle Eastern country with a rich tradition in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was meant to highlight common ground instead of conflict, according to the organizer, the Rev. Wayne Smith. This summer, they compiled a balanced list of Christian, Muslim and Jewish clergy and religious workers --- many of whom had never met --- to embark on a journey of personal and religious discovery. It was a assorted crew, including diverse races and creeds, from evangelical Baptists to a Roman Catholic, a Reconstructionist Jewish rabbi and a Pakistani-born physician. Most were from the Atlanta area. One highlight of the trip, participants said, was the holy day celebrations for each faith. By the weekend, acceptance of one another's traditions was so great that many members felt comfortable praying alongside each other."