There is Power in Faith, There is Faith in Action
According to the Pew Research Center, over 84% of the world’s population is religious, and individuals, communities, and institutions of faith around the world work daily to protect freedom, human rights, and democracy.
And yet there is an ever-growing sentiment that characterizes religion as THE threat to freedom, democracy, and human rights. An extreme sentiment responding to extremist voices that sound louder but are not larger than people of faith who believe that democracy and human rights are integral in the protection of religious freedom and religious minorities.
It’s disingenuous and perilous to disregard the commitments of billions of people in the struggle towards peace, justice, and sustainability. People of faith are an under-tapped resource in addressing the most critical issues facing the world.
In the United States, faith communities are turning guns into sustainable farming tools. In Ukraine, faith and interfaith communities are building grassroots political power in Russia to foster democratic efforts. In the Holy Land, interfaith coalitions are training clergy, women, and youth in peace efforts. In Yemen, Sudan, Mexico, Afghanistan, and in refugee camps around the world faith-based organizations are providing life-saving support to individuals fleeing violence, persecution, and extreme poverty. Around the world, faith communities are divesting from fossil fuels and greening their congregations. We know of these efforts because their representatives are sharing their stories, practices, and resources at the upcoming Parliament of the World’s Religions. But hundreds of thousands of other faith-based efforts are answering the needs not being addressed by our leaders with thoughts, with prayer, with action.
To those who look at people of faith and see their prayers and beliefs as a threat to freedom and democracy, we say this, it’s time to learn what faith in action looks like.
The 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions is convening on the theme of A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights, and features over 700 programs from people of faith and conscience standing together addressing the most critical issues of our time. Join us!