Contend Earnestly: Interfaith Dialogue a "Tremendous Success"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Interfaith Dialogue a "Tremendous Success"

Most of the readers know of the dialogue that happened at Harambee last month. I thought I would share the press release put out by CAIR Seattle in regards to the dialogue. Many friendships were made and more dialogues and get togethers are being put together for the future. It is truly exciting to see what God is doing.

Interfaith Dialogue of Evangelicals, Muslims a 'Tremendous Success'

Some 300 Participants Explore Similarities, Differences in Perspectives on Jesus

Some 300 members of a Renton area Evangelical church, a Redmond area mosque, and other local mosques and churches participated in a dialogue on the Islamic and Christian perspectives on Jesus on Saturday, March 27th at the Harambee Church in Renton, WA.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations of WA (CAIR-WA), Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) and Harambee Church, partnered to organize the event "Jesus, Who is He?" The event included a reception, presentations by leaders on the basics of each faith, readings and table discussions of relevant passages from the Bible and Qur'an, and a question and answer session.

Participants read verses from the Qur'an as well as verses from the Bible, comparing each book's accounts of Jesus' birth, descriptions of the Virgin Mary, and attributes of Jesus.

Michael Ly, a Pastor at Harambee and Vice President of Peace Catalyst International, has been a major part of interfaith work with CAIR-WA and local mosques. Ly started bringing together leaders of both faith communities through small gatherings and mosque visits, leading up to large dialogues between entire congregations. "It is truly an honor to be part of an effort to build bridges of understanding between Evangelicals and Muslims," said Ly. "I believe this is the first of many future religious and social interactions between these two faith communities."

Arsalan Bukhari, Executive Director of CAIR-WA participated in the event. "A gathering like this brings forward issues of interest to both Muslims and Christians" he said. "It is our goal to build interfaith communities through dialogue and mutual respect."

Imam Mohamad Joban, Imam (Muslim religious leader) at MAPS commented on the success of the event. "What happened this past Saturday night at Harambee Church was a bounty of our Lord," he said. It was a combination of thoughtful preparation, generous efforts by the organizers, and our trust in Allah."

Gina Mahmoud, Secretary of the Interfaith and Outreach Committee at MAPS viewed the event as a 'tremendous success.' "The event was a tremendous success and exceeded all expectations in attendance, organization and impact," said Mahmoud. "I am also very proud of the many young people of both faiths who attended."

Many future events are planned. Those interested in having their faith community involved in an interfaith endeavor are encouraged to contact CAIR-WA or Pastor Michael Ly.

CAIR-WA is the local chapter of CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Muslim Association of Puget Sound, MAPS, is an Islamic organization founded in 2006 with the intent of serving the Muslims of Puget Sound. Its mission is to provide Islamic educational, social and cultural services to the Muslim community in the region and to promote the teachings of Islam to the inquiring non-Muslim. MAPS strives to build links between Muslim families, businesses and organizations, provides year-round activities and religious services and is committed to helping the needy.

Peace Catalyst International exists to stimulate peacemaking between individuals and between peoples. Our mission is to catalyze peacemaking initiatives for multi-dimensional reconciliation in the way of Jesus. Two of the greatest areas of conflict in the world today are between Christians and Muslims and between the West and the Muslim world. Thus, we give special priority to these relationships.


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