Tensions remain high and fears widespread throughout the world following terror attacks in San Bernardino, Paris, Beirut and other locations.
Calls to ban temporarily all Syrian refugees coupled with a suggestion of a similar restriction on all Muslims seeking to come to the U.S. have heightened emotions.
Amid divisive, anti-Muslim rhetoric, Baptist leaders have spoken up to urge – and stepped out to engage in – interfaith engagement with Muslim neighbors.
To aid congregations in these interfaith initiatives, EthicsDaily.com has put together a free resource that can be downloaded here.
In the document, readers will find a link to EthicsDaily.com executive editor Robert Parham’s editorial urging readers to prioritize interfaith initiatives in 2016 and offering five guidelines for doing so.
“Overcoming terrorism must include Christians in the civil society collaborating with goodwill Muslims. In a way, interfaith engagement is an expression of peacemaking,” he wrote.
A news brief about Baptist pastors across the U.S. who stood in solidarity with Muslim leaders at interfaith events in mid-December 2015 also appears in the document.
Gregory Magruder, pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Gainesville, Florida, said at one gathering, “We are proud to stand with our Muslim friends and neighbors, and we recognize that as people of faith there is far more that unites us in sacred community than there is that divides us.”
David Coffey, a former Baptist World Alliance president, shared five principles for interfaith engagement at the Baptist World Congress in July 2015 – a video interview found in the free download.
“We have to unite with people of goodwill, Christians and Muslims together,” Coffey emphasized, when asked how to address violent religious extremism.
“We need a counter narrative; this will not be defeated by military power alone,” he added. “There has to be a sense in which Christians can make their contribution by working with Muslims of goodwill who share our love of peace, and together we need to say, ‘Not in God’s name.'”
Information about “Different Books, Common Word,” an EthicsDaily.com documentary sharing positive stories about how Baptists and Muslims are changing history with the way they engage each other, is also included.
These and other EthicsDaily.com resources for positive engagement with Muslim neighbors can be accessed in the free PDF resource sheet.