A prominent mosque in Sacramento has honored an Evangelical Christian congregation for the first time with its annual award for outstanding acts of interfaith service. The accolade recognizes the church's efforts to help Middle Eastern refugees settle into their new lives in California.
During its fourth annual interfaith Iftar [an evening meal for Muslims to end their daily fast during the month of Ramadan] last Wednesday, the SALAM Islamic Center honored the First Covenant Church of Sacramento with its "Distinguished Award for Exceptional Interfaith and Community Service."
The Sacramento Bee reports that the banquet was attended by 200 community members including local, state and federal officials. SALAM Executive Director Metwalli Amer told the audience that First Covenant has taken outstanding measures to bridge the societal gap for Muslim newcomers to the community who are seeking safety from their conflict-ridden homelands in the Middle East. more >>
MIAMI BEACH — Only a battle of ideas will end the religious violence of the 21st century, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks argues, but unlike the secular ideas that ended the Reformation-era religious violence, solutions to today's violence will be found in the Old Testament.
"I am trying to attempt quite a big theological project, which is, can we construct something called Abrahamic monotheism which is a kind of foundational level on which you build the structures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? Is there such a thing as Abrahamic monotheism before we get to our differences? Can we establish in those protean texts a set of agreements?" Sacks questioned at the Ethics and Public Policy Center's Faith Angle Forum in May.
Sacks, the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University and the Kressel and Ephrat Family University professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University, was discussing ideas from his new book, Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence, which is available now in England and will be available in the United States in October. more >>
A prominent Muslim leader in France has suggested that thousands of the country's abandoned Catholic churches should be turned into mosques to accommodate the growing French Muslim population, which is the largest Muslim population in Europe.
In a Monday interview with France's Europe 1 radio, Dalil Boubakeur, the president of the French Council of Muslim Faith and rector of the Grand Mosque in Paris, explained that there are only 2,500 mosques in France, with another 300 under construction, which falls short of being able to serve the nation's estimated 5 million Muslims.
Boubakeur asserted that at least 5,000 mosques are needed in order to comfortably serve the French Muslim community and advised that converting some of the nation's emptied churches could be a viable option. more >>
Rabbi Jack Moline of the left-of-center Interfaith Alliance has written a letter to Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress accusing him of being "disrespectful" to victims of the Holocaust in his recent comparison of the "marginalization" faced by American Christians to the way Jewish people were treated under Nazi Germany.
"Religious persecution is a significant problem around the world. Many people live in fear for their lives because of their faith, Christians included. You and I and everyone should do more to remedy the situation," Moline said in a letter shared with The Christian Post.
"However, your recent comments on Fox News comparing your experience as a conservative Christian to Jews living in Nazi Germany show disrespect to the victims of the Holocaust, and do a disservice to the critically important cause of ending real religious persecution. The honest disagreements that people of faith in this country have about public policy issues are hardly the beginning of a path toward genocide." more >>
Actor Morgan Freeman is set to visit pastor Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Texas as part of National Geographic's upcoming "The Story of God" project, which will examine beliefs about God and the divine throughout the world.
"God is arguably the most important topic of our time," said executive producer Lori McCreary of Revelations Entertainment.
"National Geographic's unprecedented inside access will allow us to explore the global mystery behind God and religion. With Morgan as our storyteller, we're going to produce a visually stunning and thought-provoking series that will spur meaningful conversations about God and faith, by believers and nonbelievers alike." more >>
An interfaith group of religious leaders who advocate for abortion has called on the Obama administration to pressure countries that have restrictions on the procedure to lift their bans for women who've been raped and impregnated by members of terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram. Pro-life activists, however, argue that the proposal is "reprehensible."
On Thursday, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice — which previously told The Christian Post that the organization opposes any restrictions on abortion, including during the third trimester — and the Center for Health and Gender Equity held a "Faith Leaders' Summit" on the issue, just steps from the White House at St. John's Episcopal Church.
Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders called for changes to be made to the Helms Amendment (named after the-late Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.), which is a 42-year-old federal law that prevents U.S. foreign aid from being used to fund abortion "as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortion." more >>