Religious beliefs are a powerful force in many people’s lives, motivating them 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 should not only reduce conflict, but also build partnerships and possibly even coalitions that can strengthen society as a whole.
To create greater awareness, understanding, and empathy between students from different religious traditions, as well as between students of faith and those of no-faith, FOCUS will partner with other campus ministries to provide productive interfaith engagements on campus. These opportunities may range from social events to service projects, and will attract students from mainline and devout backgrounds, as well as no-faith backgrounds. These meaningful opportunities for students from different backgrounds to socialize and/or work together will lead to conversations that enhance student religious literacy and foster authentic interfaith friendships. Each new friendship will be a building block to create partnerships and coalitions across religious divides.