Honor thy Neighbor’s Religion – 7 Beginning Ideas

By Suzanne Antone

1. Acknowledge to yourself and then your neighbor that you have limited knowledge of your faith and even less of a faith different than yours. Indicate an openness to learn more accurate information about it.

2. Become aware of religious timelines that may be different than yours> The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) branch in Chicago has worked with the local leadership of fourteen religious communities to produce its award winning NCCJ InterFaith Calendar, which highlights these communities’ beliefs, practices, art, and observances.

3. Join interfaith groups in your community to begin to understand what your faiths have in common about contributing to society.

4. Investigate the secular and historical ties to the formation of religions. Consider the cultural and behavioral impact of those ties. (i.e. How is Abraham common to Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths? How are Greek-Orthodox and Roman Catholics connected? How are Roman Catholics and Protestant Christians connected? How did Native Americans incorporate Catholic missionary actions into their pre-existing practices?)

5. Design your own neighbor-to-neighbor discussion time to ask respectful questions on agreed upon topics. Set rules for working together to keep the dialogues open and informative. For More information on setting rule for working together, Click here

6. Create moments to share your interfaith collaboration with others. Organize an interfaith food drive to supply your community food banks, for instance.

7. Consider how you manifest the values your faith holds dear toward persons whose faith is different from yours.