The Parliament Blog

The New Face of Interfaith Dialogue

Mitch Randall, left, and Imam Imad Enchassi greet each other before a panel discussion on Sept. 11, 2011 in Norman, Okla. (Photo by Kyle Phillips of The Norman Transcript)

by Jeff Brumley
from Associated Baptist Press

Interfaith dialogue is on the rise, not just in formal conversations led by judicatory leaders but in local communities where friendships forge as ministers of various faiths work together for common goals amid increasing religious diversity in the Bible belt.

Kyle Reese, pastor at Hendricks Avenue Baptist in Jacksonville, Fla., has been highly visible in community interfaith efforts, especially in his dialogue with Muslim and Jewish spiritual leaders. He refers to Imam Joe Bradford as “best friend” – as he does a rabbi and an Orthodox Christian priest.

Pastor Steve Jones, who made headlines working with Jews and Muslims to tackle social injustice in Birmingham, Ala., said the same about Rabbi Jonathan Miller. “I am closer to these guys than I am with many other Baptist ministers,” said Jones, the senior pastor of Southside Baptist Church.

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