During Thursday’s White House Convening, “Celebrating and Protecting America’s Tradition of Religious Pluralism,” 15 organizations celebrated a pledge to work together toward upholding and strengthening religious freedom and interfaith dialogue. Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter took paart in this event alongside representatives from CBF partner, Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty. BJC Executive Director Brent Walker participated in the panel discussion during the event.
This event highlighted the formation of a coalition of diverse faith groups around the “Know Your Neighbor” project, which calls on all Americans to share openly about their beliefs as well as understand and respect the beliefs of others — their neighbors.
Below is an excerpt from a press release from CBF partner, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty:
Today, a diverse group of 15 organizations – including the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty – is launching an innovative project titled “Know Your Neighbor” (KYN) and participating in a White House convening on religious pluralism.
Created by Gurwin Singh Ahuja, a young Sikh man concerned about his own community’s challenges, Know Your Neighbor calls on all Americans to share their own beliefs as well as understand and respect those of others. The coalition believes that dialogue is desperately needed to reduce religious tensions and maximize the strength of our nation’s diverse heritage.
BJC Executive Director Brent Walker emphasized the need to move past stereotypes and look out for our neighbors’ well-being. “Our religiously plural democracy and the religious freedom we enjoy depends not just on constitutional protection against governmental interference; it also depends on the willingness of American citizens on a personal level to understand and respect each other, including our differences,” Walker said. “The Know Your Neighbor initiative encourages all of us to do so, ensuring America remains true to its heritage and promise.”
The website for Know Your Neighbor features a pledge that all are encouraged to sign, promising to get to know people with other beliefs and “speak out against hatred and misinformation.” Visit knowyourneighbor.us for more information and details.