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Department of Religious Studies

Religious Pluralism in US, Example for Peace?

Fr. Jamal Khader, Chairperson of the Religious Studies Department, participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program "Religion in America" in August 2007 to learn more about how different religions coexist in the United States. 

The US State Department sponsored program included visits to five states along with a series of meetings at the State Department, the Department of Justice, several religious institutions- mainly those who work on interfaith dialogue- and several churches, mosques and synagogues."The program was intensive, well organized and fruitful," Fr. Jamal said. "It provided us with opportunities to examine the main problems and tensions between the different religions in the US, especially how the US Constitution addresses these issues. Even if our experience is different, the experience of another country like the US can be useful and inspiring."

Several religious leaders from the West Bank were also invited, but were unable to join the group. However, in addition to Fr. Jamal from Bethlehem University, Sheikh Mahmoud Adawi from Al-Aroub Refugee Camp near Bethlehem also participated. The program was organized by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the State Department of the US and is an integral component to its mission to foster mutual understanding between the US and other countries through international educational, professional and cultural exchanges. Participants visited Washington D.C., Detroit, Austin, Philadelphia and New York.





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