Religious beliefs can be a powerful driver of human behavior, motivating people to live virtuously and to love others. As religious diversity increases in our country, we are challenged to nurture the individual faith traditions that are a powerful source for good, while mediating religious differences that can lead to polarization and strife. Fostering interreligious trust and understanding can not only reduce conflict, but also build partnerships, and possibly even coalitions, that can strengthen our society.
The first two years of this project bore much fruit, with effective and engaging campus events enhancing understanding, and empathy between students from different religious traditions. FOCUS looks forward to the opportunity to build upon and expand this success over the next two years. We envision an increased number of participating campuses and an expanded infrastructure to ensure the project’s continued success. The resulting interfaith events will create meaningful opportunities for engagement between students from Christian and non-Christian backgrounds. These interactions will increase religious literacy and foster interfaith relationships and friendships. Each new friendship will be a building block to create partnerships and coalitions across religious divides.