We need more conversation on living well amongst religious diversity in our inter-religious global community. All that this means is simply being willing to share what we believe as we listen to the beliefs of others in openness and love.
How do we apply the principles of love, hospitality and civility in our interactions with believers of other faith traditions.
How can we increase peace between these diverse communities? Todd Johnson and Cindy Wu suggest four ways that we can live better in the midst of diversity and plurality.
1. Lower suspicion. In both Canada and the United States, there is increasing rhetoric about the dangers of Islamic terrorism. Yes, groups like ISIS/L are a serious problem, but most Muslims distance themselves from these extremist groups. Let us not allow this present climate of fear to keep us from listening to the felt needs and concerns of this community.
2. Become more informed. Learn more about the faith groups in your community and take time to meet practitioners of those faiths. (It's also well-worth learning the truth about the religious extremism that has been/continues to be problematic within your own faith).
3. Encourage inter-faith dialogue. Often this can only happen with an official invite and some planning around a simple meal, and perhaps a brief dialogue centered on a basic question, such as “tell us about the founder of your religion.”
4. Practice hospitality. This comes naturally to us and so we shouldn’t shy away from practicing it.It does depend though on number 1 above. Number 2 also helps in knowing what is culturally appropriate. Number 3 can be the vehicle for practicing hospitality.We need to be challenged to live well in a pluralistic society.
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