Religious Leaders Preach Tolerance

8 years 1 month 6 days ago Monday, September 13 2010 Sep 13, 2010 Monday, September 13, 2010 6:32:50 PM CDT September 13, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Religious leaders in Columbia met Monday morning for about an hour to discuss religious tolerance.

The meeting comes at a time when there are protests against the building of an Islamic Center near Ground Zero and threats to burn the Koran.

"It's just really important that the interfaith community does step in (because) in moments like this and make a stronger voice than those fringe, unrepresentative voices have made to say that this is not acceptable," Rev. Amy Gearhart of Missouri United Methodist Church said.

To help with this problem, the group discussed ways to make people more tolerant of other faiths.

"Through education, through reaching out, by having all these meetings, by having an interfaith council, we can foster love and respect," said Taha Hameduddin of the Islamic Center.

But while the group discussed religious tolerance, some say it's not enough.

"We tolerate our in-laws, we tolerate our government officials. No. Tolerance is not enough. We need to work on acceptance, respect for the wonderful diversity in God's creation," said Paul Lang, a Bha'i faith member.

After the meeting the group met with about 50 members of the public and the media. They say the next step is for different religous leaders to take action in the community, working on service projects together.



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