Preparing for Interfaith Dialogue: Internet Finds to Facilitate Action

Preparing for Interfaith Dialogue, an online course beginning on May 1, opens two avenues for preparing you to participate in interfaith dialogue.

The first avenue is reading a number of documents about the interfaith movement and how it is understood by different religious groups.

  • Among these documents is Pope Paul VI’s Nostra Aetate (In our Age), his Declaration on the Relation of the [Catholic] Church with Non-Christian Religions delivered to the Second Vatican Council in1965.
  • Baha’i texts include the Universal House of Justice’s 2002 Letter to the World’s Religious Leaders; the 2005 statement One Common Faith, published by the Baha’i World Center; and Baha’u’llah’s letter to Zoroastrian Manikchí Ṣahib (1813-90) published in Tabernacle of Unity. All the documents are available through links in the course.

 

A second avenue for participating in interfaith dialogue is seeking out opportunities for coming together with like-minded people of faith (and of no faith) to find ways to know and understand each other better and to serve humanity together.

  • These opportunities may be as close as your own neighborhood, but, you are wondering, how can you connect in ways that make everyone feel safe? This is where the Internet comes to the rescue.
  • For example, the Council for the World’s Parliament of Religions (CWPR) has an excellent web page with many opportunities to help you connect via social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • CWPR also hosts a social network called Peace Next (http://www.peacenext.org/). Peace Next includes forums and groups, such as Inter-Religious Dialogue, Nature and Religion, and Women’s Interfaith Initiative.
  • On May 9 Peace Next is hosting a free webinar called “Interfaith Social Media: Interfaith Leadership in the Digital World” with Frank Fredericks, formerly of the Interfaith Youth Core. Go to http://www.peacenext.org/events/interfaith-social-media-interfaith-leadership-in-the-digital-world/ to sign up.
  • The Interfaith Youth Core (http://www.ifyc.org/about-movement) recruits college students to gather for training on how to create interfaith service learning on campus, accompanies its students as they strive to make vision into reality, and then continues to support them as alumni. Baha’i youth are not only welcome; they are recruited as exceptional participants in this program.
  • The Amazing Faith project (http://www.amazingfaithsproject.org) includes step-by-step instructions for bringing people of all faiths (or no faith) together for shared meals and conversation. A number of Baha’is (some in the recent course on Social Action and Public Discourse) have participated in the Amazing Faith dinners and recommend them highly.
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