Interfaith

Muslims in interfaith bonds are proliferating. Imams willing to marry them are not.

January 10, 2022

When Faiqa Cheema and Jeff Beale were planning their September 2021 wedding, it was important to Cheema that it include elements of the traditional ceremony of her Muslim faith, while also being meaningful for her husband, who was raised Baptist.

The couple’s path to their dream interfaith wedding turned out to be more complicated than they expected. While such unions are increasingly common, Muslim clergy have long frowned on marrying outside Islam, and Cheema and Beale struggled to find an imam who would officiate, much less adapt the Islamic ceremony, known as a nikah, to...

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Buddhist leaders share open letter addressing antisemitism following Texas synagogue attack

January 19, 2022

Over 100 Buddhist leaders have signed an open letter addressing antisemitism following the January 15 synagogue attack at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, in which a gunman held four people hostage for 10 hours. Penned by Zen teacher Koshin Paley Ellison of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, the letter was shared via Google Doc for Buddhist leaders to sign.

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Historic Westside interfaith service celebrates MLK holiday

January 17, 2022

Although Louisiana schools desegregated right before Charles Lee Bilberry’s senior year in 1969, he was not allowed to attend his graduation ceremony, he said, because “the white parents didn’t want their children to graduate with colored children.”

Bilberry collected his diploma from the principal’s office and soon moved to Southern Nevada. He recalled his mother’s hug and kiss on the cheek when she told him, “Son, when you go to Las Vegas, be the best that you can be.”

He spoke of the moment Sunday afternoon during an Interfaith Service at Second Baptist Church in...

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Catholic, Jewish orgs work to find homes for arriving Afghan refugees

December 10, 2021

Three months after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, prompting hundreds of thousands to evacuate the country, Catholic Charities and its Jewish community partners have helped dozens of Afghan immigrants to find homes and begin new lives in the Greater Boston Area.

In a webinar held on Nov. 22, titled "Together We Respond," representatives of Catholic Charities of Boston (CCAB), Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) shared updates about how they have served people arriving from Afghanistan over the past few months. They expressed...

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Reading faiths unite for menorah blessing, tree lighting

December 3, 2021

As many gathered around the Christmas tree and the menorah on downtown Reading's Penn Square for the city's holiday lighting celebrations Thursday evening, the sentiment was that this year's event was especially joyous.

"We are really excited that we are getting to somewhat of a little bit of normalcy this year," said Reading Mayor Eddie Morán. "We are inviting the community to come out and celebrate with us in a dual celebration."

As Hanukkah comes to a close in a few days, the Jewish Federation of Reading lit the latest candle on the...

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Atlanta-area Episcopalians, Ismaili Muslims forge relationship through community service

November 4, 2021

 Back in February, when the Rev. Nicole Lambelet invited nearby faith leaders to participate in a virtual tour of Decatur, Georgia, through the lens of displaced Black and Jewish communities, she didn’t expect her Episcopal church to form a new relationship with Decatur’s Ismaili Muslim community.

“Probably five faith leaders responded to the mass email I sent, and 150 people came to our event, but Behnoosh Momin’s response was different,” said Lambelet, associate rector for family ministry and outreach at the ...

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Religious organizations prepare for 'potential onslaught' of evictions

September 9, 2021

The Supreme Court’s Aug. 26 decision to end the federal eviction moratorium brings new challenges for religious leaders and organizations working to aid those at risk for homelessness. More than 3.6 million Americans say they could face eviction in the next two months, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We’re very, very nervous,” said Sarah Abramson, vice president of strategy and impact at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston. “There is already a tremendous housing shortage in Boston. And we know from our data, and from the experience of our partners...

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This rabbinical school is moving into a Catholic university

September 2, 2021

The Academy for Jewish Religion California has rented space in several locations during its 21-year existence as a transdenominational seminary that trains rabbis and cantors.

For a while it was housed in an office building in downtown Los Angeles, then at Hillel, the Jewish campus organization at the University of California Los Angeles.

But beginning Oct. 1, in an arrangement both novel and pathbreaking, the academy will move to Loyola Marymount...

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How Intel and other top companies make room for religion in the office

August 21, 2021

Intel has been a star in the technology world for nearly half a century. One secret to its success is a little more spiritual than you might have guessed, according to CEO Pat Gelsinger.

In a recorded message that will play during an international conference on business and religion this week, Gelsinger highlights the competitive advantage that comes from building a culture that celebrates personal faith alongside other employee traits. At Intel, workers are...

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Plaintiffs propose replacing Bible with Book of Faith

July 28, 2021

The plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging the display of a Bible at New Hampshire’s veterans hospital have proposed replacing it with a Book of Faith containing writings and prayers from seven religious groups.

The lawsuit filed in 2019 by two U.S. Air Force veterans against the hospital director said the Bible’s inclusion on a table honoring missing veterans and POWs is a violation of the U.S. Constitution. They said the table should be a memorial to all who have served.

Government lawyers argued the lawsuit should be dismissed because the lead plaintiff...

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Maine faith leaders sign letter calling on Sen. Susan Collins to back For the People Act

August 18, 2021

More than 125 religious leaders and people of faith in Maine have signed a letter calling on lawmakers to support the For the People Act, adding to substantial religious pressure on elected officials to pass the sweeping federal voting rights bill.

In a news conference unveiling the letter at Portland’s Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church on Tuesday (Aug. 10), a trio of faith leaders championed various provisions of the For the People Act, which would overhaul federal election law in ways advocates say will help vulnerable Americans vote.

“Working for this...

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The Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, interfaith leader, dies at 78

August 6, 2021

The Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, who came to the United States as a childhood refugee from war-torn Poland and later became a leader in cross-church cooperation and the first Eastern Orthodox president of the National Council of Churches, has died. He was 78.

Kishkovsky died of a heart attack Tuesday at Glen Cove Hospital in Glen Cove, New York, according to the Orthodox Church in America, where he served as director of external affairs and interchurch relations. He had long been in high-level administration at the Orthodox Church in America’s offices on New York’s Long Island,...

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Religious Americans Demand Climate Action

July 21, 2021

President Joe Biden has pursued a bold agenda to address the climate crisis. On his first day in office, he had the United States rejoin the Paris climate agreement.1 A week later, he signed an executive order to “Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.”2 On Earth Day, April 22, he convened world leaders to address the urgent need for collective action on the climate crisis. During that summit, he announced that the United States will target reducing planet-warming emissions by 50 percent to 52 percent across the economy by 2030 compared with 2005 levels....

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Reparations bill gains momentum as an interfaith cause

July 23, 2021

(RNS) — A pastor in Evanston, Illinois, the first U.S. city to adopt a municipal initiative on reparations, told a gathering of faith leaders on Thursday (July 22) that they can play a key role in moving a community toward action on the long-debated issue, even if it takes a while.

The Rev. Michael C.R. Nabors, a Baptist pastor in Evanston and the president of Evanston’s NAACP chapter, said it took more than two decades for his city to provide reparations.

“Faith leaders have been involved from the beginning,” he told Religion News Service after addressing a webinar...

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Houston imams and rabbis unite for a common goal – peace

June 10, 2021

As clashes continue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, Houston imams and rabbis unite for a common goal — peace.

Together, these faith leaders recently issued a statement, signed by 23 imams and 28 rabbis.

The statement began: “For the past decade, we Imams and Rabbis in the Greater Houston area have found common ground on several issues that have impacted our respective communities and the Houston community at large.

Source: ...

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