Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue Activities
One of our main goals is to help build a constructive environment for members of different faiths, cultures, ethnicity and world-views to exchange ideas and solve common problems. Through our panels and seminars, we build awareness around diverse issues and causes, fostering dialogue and breaking down walls that breed intolerance and hate.
The Alliance and our member organizations host intercultural receptions, peace and dialogue awards, friendship dinners, and luncheons, encouraging people of different faiths and backgrounds to talk to and learn from each other. Through collaboration, service, and dialogue, we can improve our relationships and our communities.
Events & Activities:
Geneva Peace Conference: Mobilizing Civil Society for Building Peace
The Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) and Dialog-Institut, in partnership with other civil society organizations, organized the Geneva Peace Conference: Mobilizing Civil Society for Building Peace on October 24, 2014 at United Nations Office in Geneva.
This conference aimed to engage people from various backgrounds who had the potential to contribute in different ways to the process of mutual understanding among various religions and cultures. In other words, the aim was to engage state officials and diplomats with representative members from various religious organizations, educational workers, media representatives, academicians and scientists, members of NGOs, and other civil society organizations to create a discussion in which many different opinions and ideas coming from various perspectives and points of view would emerge.
The Geneva Peace Conference facilitated the discussion of the question of peaceful coexistence, thus directly contributing to the universal understanding of the essence in peace building in the 21st century.
For more information please visit Geneva Peace Conference
• 8th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner at the University of Georgia: The theme of the event, hosted by the IDEA Society of the University of Georgia and the Alliance’s member organization, the Istanbul Center, was the importance of diversity in communities.
• Iftar Dinner at the Washington National Cathedral: Alliance’s member organization, Rumi Forum, celebrated Ramadan with an intercultural Iftar dinner. At the celebration, people of different faith traditions discussed the significance of collaboration, dialogue, and interfaith understanding.
• Abraham’s Table Panel Discussion as the bond between the Muslims, Jews and Christians: Table of Abraham is a panel discussion with representatives from each of the three Abrahamic traditions who explain and examine their faith with one another.
• Intercultural Dialog Trips to Turkiye
Throughout nearly 80,000 years of history, many great civilizations thrived and left their legacy in the land of Anatolia, modern day Türkiye. The Intercultural Dialog Trips to this “cradle of civilizations” explores the rich cultures that have matured over time and extends the bridges of friendship between the peoples of the United States and Turkiye.
Turkish Cuisine Classes held at Little Rock Raindrop Turkish House was featured in The New York Times on the 15th August 2012 by Joan Nathan, an award-winning American author of cookbooks. Nathan met with the Turkish cuisine class participants during her visit to Arkansas last spring. Joan and others from the community had a chance to visit the Raindrop, have conversations with the cuisine class group and taste the delicious lentil patties prepared by the ladies.
Interfaith Peace Garden
Interfaith Peace Garden is owned and operated by the Dialogue Institute, a member of AfSV. The Peace Garden will host a variety of educational programs to facilitate and embody productive interfaith dialogue. The Peace Garden is inspired by a desire to celebrate the possibility of peaceful coexistence among Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
Comprising a Synagogue, a Church, and a Mosque, the Peace Garden will function as an educational center and a space for reflection. Through unique programs, exhibits, workshops, and services, visitors will be able to experience and appreciate the faith of their neighbors in a new way.
Interfaith Historical Significance of the Structures
The Peace Garden’s mosque will be modeled after Habib-i Neccar Mosque in Antioch (Antakya). The mosque was named after a martyred Christian, whose story is told in the Qur’an. When Jesus sends two of his envoys to the city of Antioch, Habib-i Neccar (the Beloved of the Carpenter) was the first person to believe them. He was later martyred by his people for his belief. When Muslims came to this region in the 6th century, they built a mosque by Habib-i Neccar’s grave in his honor. This mosque was thus dedicated to the first Christian in Asia Minor.
The Peace Garden’s church is modeled after Saint Spydron Church in Cappodocia. St. Spydron Church was built in the sixth century and its structure employs traditional masonry and exemplifies the high quality of craftsmanship of its time. It is believed that St. Gregory of Nazianzus visited this church and that the fundamental teachings of Orthodox Christianity originated in this region. The structure of Saint Spydron employs traditional masonry and exemplifies the high quality of the craftsmanship of its time. The central dome supported by an octagonal base is the church’s most prominent architectural element. The church’s entrance is similar to the door of St. Anthony of Padua Cathedral, the biggest Roman Catholic Cathedral in Istanbul.
The Peace Garden’s synagogue is modeled after the Great Synagogue in Edirne. After a massive fire destroyed 13 synagogues in Edirne, the Jewish community there decided to replace these separate buildings with a single place of worship. The Great Synagogue was built in 1907 for this purpose, and it was the third biggest synagogue in Europe at the time of its construction. It could accommodate 1,200 worshipers, and its design was meant to demonstrate the community’s modern achievements.
For more information, please visit www.houstonpeacegarden.com