The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

From RocNow: Despite multiple faiths, we are ‘better together’ 15 November , 2010

“Better together.”

Before our trip to the White House, this simple slogan seemed empty to us. However, after attending the Interfaith Youth Core’s Leadership Development Conference in Washington, D.C., this became our mantra, our belief that in order to become empowered and effective as interfaith leaders, we have to break barriers and work in harmony with one another.



Putting Faith Into Action: A UBC Student’s Experience 5 November , 2010

As you will come to realize, I am very interested in different faiths and the relationships between these faiths. Last week, I had the opportunity of speaking to Sara Eftekhar, a third-year Nursing student at UBC. Eftekhar has put her Muslim faith into action by working with and uniting people of different beliefs through social action. She won the 2009-2010 Faiths Act Fellowship, which is a year-long, paid fellowship through the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and Interfaith Youth Core, and was one of eight Canadians chosen, out of a total of thirty young people from Canada, the UK and the US. The fellows were put into interfaith pairs and, inspired by their faith, served as ambassadors for the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals.

Eftekhar had always been active in her community, but had never really thought about how her own faith and development could go hand in hand. The experience opened up her eyes to the world of interfaith social action.

“I was always really interested in development and health and as a nursing student that’s always been one of my passions,” she said, “but I never really looked at it from an interfaith perspective.”




From The Washington Post’s “On Faith” Blog: Tipping the scale in DC 1 November , 2010

300 strong, they came. Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, and non-believers, marked by their differences but united in their commitment to work with one another towards building a world where interfaith cooperation is a social norm.

Last week, 200 undergraduate students and 100 staff allies gathered in Washington, D.C. for Interfaith Youth Core’s inaugural Interfaith Leadership Institute. These student leaders are part of a growing network of young people around the world changing the conversation on faith and social action through the Better Together campaign. From the mountains of Young Harris, GA to the sandy beaches of Los Angeles, CA, they came ready to learn, share stories, and take action.




Univ. of Rochester Students Attend Interfaith Action Conference 28 October , 2010

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Last weekend, at a three-day conference in Washington, D.C., senior Naomi Ahsan and sophomore Grant He discussed how to go beyond religious tolerance and use faith as a unifying force to make a difference in the community.

The conference, held by the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), was attended by 100 college students from all 50 states. It is a part of the IFYC’s “Better Together” campaign, which seeks to unify people of different religious backgrounds under the common goal of community service.

“I believe that faith and religion in general are very powerful concepts,” He said. “The idea is that instead of the divisive force that they’re portrayed as in the media today, they can be used as a way of bringing people together and helping people.”

Ahsan agreed, adding that individuals who don’t practice any specific faith should have a spot at the table as well.

“People who don’t have an identifyable religion are often-times still very interested in this kind of service,” she said. “Morals exist outside of any one religious identity.”



From The Claremont Port Side: Interfaith Interaction: Global dialogue builds bridge for religiously tolerant future 26 October , 2010

In his new book Acts of Faith, Eboo Patel writes that the premier conflict of the 21st century will be over faith – not necessarily between different religions but rather between the totalitarians and pluralists within those religions. Examples of totalitarian groups are Al-Qaeda, the Christian Identity Movement, and Aum Shrinrikyo. Their members are people who, as Hishem Melham said during his Athenaeum speech on terrorism, “believe that they are 100% right and you are 100% wrong.” This mindset exists because of lack of understanding and fear of others and their traditions. Therefore, the best way to fight terrorism and religious totalitarianism is to embrace a more pluralistic society. Unfortunately, the movement towards pluralism and interfaith cooperation can sometimes be stalled by fear of “the other.”



Muslim Adviser to Obama Urges Interfaith Cooperation 6 October , 2010

In a recent lecture, Eboo Patel urged interfaith cooperation and pluralism in America, especially in response to last summer’s tension between the Muslim and Christian faiths. Patel founded the Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago and was recently appointed to President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.



From ABC News: Where Are the Moderate Muslims? Look Here 5 October , 2010

There’s no great secret answer to the question posed so often: “Where are the moderate Muslims?”

The truth is, moderate Muslims are everywhere. They are your doctor, your son’s teacher, your daughter’s coach. One is the man who designed the Sears Tower, Fazlur Rahman Khan. Another is one of America’s greatest sports icons, Muhammad Ali. The moderate Muslims I know are inspiring because they act on the central values of their faith — loving god and loving your neighbor. There are a lot more you don’t know yet. Here are three who I have worked with through my organization, Interfaith Youth Core.