Sikh-ing Harmony: Fourth of July Marks Inauguration of Innovative Interfaith Dialogue Project

  (Washington, DC and Boston, MA; July 4, 2006) – The Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) and the Dialogue Forum announce the launch of an innovative interfaith dialogue project: Sikh-ing Harmony. This project facilitates dialogue and understanding between the three major Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – and Sikhism. SCORE President and Senior Advisor of the Dialogue Forum, Dr. Rajwant Singh, said, “I’m delighted that we are able to launch this project today as we celebrate the American ideals of freedom, equality, and social justice. These same principles are foundational to the Sikh religion. America is the world’s most religiously diverse country and Sikhism is the fifth largest religious tradition. This project will work to end misconceptions about Sikhism, strengthen pluralism in our society, and help our communities protect the American/Sikh ideals.”

The Sikh-ing Harmony project will be based in Washington, DC and Boston, MA and will spread to other cities throughout the country. Advisor Courtney Erwin, Esq. stated, “In today’s globalized community, we cannot ignore or hope to escape the tragic consequences of religious divisiveness. The Sikh-ing Harmony project will counter such destructive discord with a truly innovative approach to interfaith dialogue.” This project will make use of existing congregational interfaith relationships and take advantage of non-religious forums like book clubs, theater, open mic nights, and artistic exchanges to engage a wide variety of participants.

“As Americans, we need to move beyond the idea that interfaith relations are important only to those who identify with major religious traditions. The fundamental issues here are social justice and the freedom to profess one’s own, distinct identity -- things that affect every American citizen,” said Dialogue Forum Director and Harvard Divinity School graduate student, Chris Byrnes.

Kayla Parker, Project Associate for The Dialogue Forum and George Washington University Student said, “Being a student living in DC has made me realize that it is vital for us to understand the diversity we are surrounded by. In our current world of globalization we are learning about other peoples across seas; just as important is coming to understand the cultures of our neighbors. Understanding the views of others can lead to a more peaceful and productive society and this dialogue work is doing that by breaking down barriers.” Ms. Parker will be working on the project in Boston this summer.

To learn more CONTACT: Dialogue Forum Director, Chris Byrnes: cbyrnes@sikhcouncilusa.org



  


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