interfaith dialogue

Sharing about our holy books

'Scriptural Reasoning invites us into each others’ faith tradition by choosing scriptural passages from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Qur’an.' (Image by congerdesign/Pixabay)

As part of an effort among Alberta Mennonites to bridge understanding between Christians and Muslims, Christian-Muslim dialogues have been organized annually since 2013, under the banner of “A Common Word Alberta.” These have been taking place in Edmonton, but will soon be organized in Calgary as well.

Christian-Muslim dialogue expands to Calgary

Pictured from left to right: Zaid Al Rawni, CEO of Islamic Relief Canada; Donna Entz, Mennonite Church Alberta’s North Edmonton Ministry; Salwa Kadri, a committee member of A Common Word Alberta; and Wes Thiessen, who holds a doctorate in Islamic history. (Photo by Tim Wiebe-Neufeld)

For the first time in its six-year history, the annual Christian-Muslim dialogue in Alberta held an event in Calgary as well as in Edmonton.

‘The more we get to know each other’

Uzbekistan hosts Mr. and Mrs. Karimov, standing, share warm hospitality with a TourMagination group visiting Serabulak. Mr. Karimov is a descendant of a merchant who gave Mennonite pilgrims a farewell gift of money and other gifts. (TourMagination photo by John Sharp)

The Kyk-Ota Mosque in Serabulak, Uzbekistan, was used by Mennonites as a church during the winter of 1881-82. (TourMagination photo by John Sharp)

Historical experiences of ordinary people living out their faith were shared at a travelogue presentation of Russian Mennonite migrations in Europe and Central Asia.

Working together for the common good

Representatives from a variety of faiths gathered in Vancouver in March for Celebrating Our Diversity Now, an interfaith dialogue. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)

Celebrating Our Diversity Now was a time of sharing between different religious and cultural groups. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)

Constantinos Economos, parish priest at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Vancouver, speaks at Celebrating Our Diversity Now. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)

‘It was great to have an intentional and safe space to share and learn about religious diversity in Canada,’ writes Annika Krause. (Armenian Diocese of Canada photo)

Participating in Celebrating Our Diversity Now showed Annika Krause that there are many young people who desire to have conversations about faith and religious practices. (Photo courtesy of Annika Krause)

This past March, I participated in an interfaith dialogue for young people in Vancouver, hosted by the Armenian Diocese of Canada.

Learning from diverse faiths

A group of Muslim men gather for prayer at a mosque in Israel/Palestine. Palmer Becker wonders if Mennonites, through their example and witness, might eventually help both male and female Muslim believers to pray and worship side by side.

An instructor at the Kitchener, Ont., LDS church explains the consequences of trying to follow both the way of the world and the way of the Lord to a group of high school students who meet each weekday morning for 45 minutes of ‘seminary’ instruction over the course of four years. Do Mennonites have church communities where we might convene our you

Palmer Becker

In our increasingly multicultural and multi-faith society, can we learn from belief systems other than our own? I believe so, and offer what I have learned from two faiths—Mormonism and Islam—that have very diverse beliefs from each other and also from my own Mennonite faith. This has called for risk-taking, relationship-building and honest self-reflection.

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