Monday, April 5, 2010

Interfaith movement gains new strength

FaithHouse is probably the only multireligious church in the country, but its jumble of faiths and practices is becoming less unusual in today's religious marketplace.
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This is the first in a series of reports that will look at new efforts — driven largely by American faith leaders — to bridge old divisions among the nation's and the world's believers.

NEW YORK | When FaithHouse Manhattan has its twice-monthly interfaith gatherings, the guest list is a carnival of religious belief and creed.


An Islamic Sufi dervish greets you at the door, but the program director, an Episcopalian, makes the announcements. A rabbi, a female Muslim and a Seventh-day Adventist share leadership of the meeting.

Oranges, nuts, apricots and hamentaschen, a Jewish holiday pastry, were offered as snacks. Participants put on costumes to act out the biblical story of Esther.


It involves unlikely alliances, such as when one of the most conservative Christian pro-life groups staged a news conference on Capitol Hill in September applauding a Muslim prayer service on the Mall.

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