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Dialogue Knowledge Hub

Promising Practices

Promising Practices is a collation and expansion of existing documentation on promising practices in interreligious dialogue. Our database offers guidelines and focuses on the concrete implementation of interreligious and intercultural dialogue practices around the world.

Promising Practises

Describe your idea, or activity of an interfaith practice for others to replicate

Disclaimer:
Through providing different aspects and ideas our aim is to compliment the great work that has been already done in the field of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. Information and field data published in this resource are for informational purposes only, and neither KAICIID nor the Dialogue Knowledge Hub guarantee in any way success of the implementation of the activity.

While we wish all the activities and initiatives featured in this resource could be replicable in as many context around the world as possible, there are often certain limitations, such as the suitability for particular cultures or religious communities. However, there is always room to explore and adjust activities in regards to the community’s environment.

Note: The content below is displayed with the most recent upload first

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USALebanonMalaysiaGlobalGuatemalaChristianityHinduismIslamJudaismMultireligious

Interfaith Volunteering

This promising practice happens in multi-religious societies throughout the whole year, and is based on a citywide network of diverse faith communities, which provides resources and temporary housing for families experiencing homelessness. Different religious communities come together to lead cooperative societal projects. They partner up with local authorities to create links between religious communities, through social work. Young people from different religions are encouraged to give their time to a communal service, or get together to cook and distribute food to homeless people, either on the streets or in community centres. Associations are actively working for the development of communities in need, seeking young volunteers from different religious backgrounds who would assist remote and isolated communities. Their goal is to challenge the traditional way of community building and development, by incorporating a social purpose into the practice. Community development has equally important economic and social effects, thus this practice assists precarious villages or neighborhoods throughout the year, and gives them a sense of community that they don’t often have because of their isolation, for

USASri LankaPeruChristianityIndigenous TraditionsIslamMultireligious

Interfaith Travel

Interfaith learning through international and interfaith travel to different countries, as well as weekend immersion trips to local houses of worship help build trust and relationships. In every conflict or area of tension, there are different sides to the story. The dual narrative tourism initiative is meant to provide visitors with two successive different narratives from two different guides, each one narrating their own perspective, for them to build their own opinion and expand their understanding of the situation. This practice can also take the form of visits to different religious spaces. Opening one’s religious space to others is a way of showing a facet of one’s religious identity and break down misconceptions. Inviting people to visit a place of worship is an opportunity to increase awareness and educate participants about a particular religion, answer questions and reinforce one’s faith through. Interfaith travel can involve visiting different regions or countries. Interfaith region consists of touring one given region to shed light on similarities in terms of religious integration. Hence, this practice uses travel and tourism to focus on the question of identity and culture regardless of faith, and fosters interfaith unity through initiating discussions on interreligious similarities and differences. Moreover, in countries where there are still indigenous communities, city-dwellers and these communities are not well-linked, as they live far away from the cities and are rather isolated. Interfaith travel can enable people from the city to reconnect with their backgrounds and the way their ancestors use to live, in order to recreate a link between all communities and to promote and support the indigenous way of life.

PolandLebanonSri LankaUSAChristianityHinduismIslamMultireligious

Interfaith Theatre

The practice of interfaith theatre can be utilized in different ways to suit the context of the subject matter in question. For example, one practice called Bibliodrama invites participants to understand and discuss the main religious figures present in the holy texts of a religion other than their own. Another form of interfaith theatre brings together youths of different faiths to act together in a play based in a zone of conflict between groups of different religions. Another example is “The Hindu and the Cowboy”, which is a theatrical production created from the stories shared by the residents of Kansas City. It showcases how interfaith communities in a city do not need to be viewed as a ‘melting pot’, but rather as a mosaic, in which each faith has its own integrity and identity and contributes in their own way to the beautiful full image. Lastly, the “Theatre of the People” is a mobile theatre where people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds create and perform a play, and travel together for representations. Along with all the preparations and performances, the theatre troupe engages the masses through workshops in schools and public spaces, and promotes inclusion and reconciliation through art and theatre.

IndiaIrelandCzech RepublicRussiaPolandLebanonBuddhismChristianityHinduismJainismJudaismMultireligious

Interfaith Prayer

The practice of interfaith prayer is an initiative that can take place anytime, anywhere. It is especially appropriate when there is a natural disaster or tragedy affecting a community. It can also be used during times of peace. Interfaith prayers aim to emphasize the common values of the religions involved. It can also be used when and important religious leader passes away. This gives believers of different faiths the opportunity to come together in an act of solidarity and goodwill. Another form of interfaith prayer involves believers from different denominations of the same religion uniting for prayers at the same location and praying in the same language. This aims at compensating for reduced resources of religious minorities, while giving participants the opportunity to unite with people of different practices in a common prayer. An organization can also invite individuals to a gathering, where they reflect on scriptures from different religions. These workshops emphasize the similarities between religions, instead of just highlighting the differences. Interfaith prayers require a space where individuals can gather, regardless of their faith, to observe a moment of prayer, meditation, or silence, thus share a spiritual moment side by side.

ArgentinaMultireligious

Interfaith Movie Discussion

Movies that tackle interfaith coexistence are a great practice to initiate dialogue in diverse communities and promote mutual understanding. Such movies are a way to share the narrative and the experience of various communities, which permits communities to tackle their differences. The purpose behind these activities is to bring together individuals from different religious backgrounds to engage in interreligious dialogue while participating in an entertaining activity.

FranceCyprusChristianityIslamMultireligious

Interfaith Sporting Events

Youth from different religious and social backgrounds can play a sport together, for example football, in mixed teams to showcase interreligious coexistence. This event normally takes place in the environment linked to this sport (ex: on a football field), with a greater impact when it is implemented in neighborhoods of a city where there are interreligious tensions. It is advised to organize such sport encounters on a regular basis (more than only once as a symbolic event), so as to animate the neighborhood and establish long-term bonds. Moreover, youth of different cultural and religious backgrounds can gather to hike along and across conflictual borders for peace and as a symbol of unity. Through this initiative, the participants can prove that living and walking through the same path regardless of their differences is possible.

USARwandaCyprusCosta RicaIrelandMadagascarBahá'í FaithChristianityIslamJudaismMultireligious

Youth Empowerment

It is important to train and empower the youth to engage in interfaith dialogue and activities, for they are the future of societies, communities, and nations. Youth can be engaged through intensive activities and events for high school students from various religious backgrounds. Students can gather from across a country to participate in discussions, visit different houses of worship, engage in workshops on religions, spirituality, peacemaking, and leadership, and translate beliefs into action through service and justice events. The practice is supervised by mentors, and empowers young people to be leaders for social change and to foster relationships across religious communities. The youth can also be trained to be successful peace ambassadors. Young individuals of all faiths receive training on peace and interfaith dialogue throughout the year. The organization in question thus insures that the next generation is putting their learned skills to good use, and is capable of taking on responsibilities in the future. Other activities can also teach the youth conflict mediation. For example, “Better your Country”, a two-day event based on interfaith dialogue as a means to appease tensions among society, puts the youth at the forefront of mediation, and engages them in discussions on conflicts or issues affecting the country. This event aims at gathering young people from different cultural backgrounds and beliefs to display and share a variety of narratives and opinions. Classrooms are also a great environment to foster interfaith dialogue and youth empowerment. An easy activity that can be implemented is the Love Dice, a paper-made educative tool. It aims to teach students about shared human values by playing with the Love Dice each morning and establish a goal for each day. On each side of the Dice students write universal values of caring and love, and thus playing with the Dice empowers them to share their cultures, beliefs, and their values based on the chosen universal value that they throw for that day. This goal revolves around treating others how one would wish to be treated, regardless of their cultural or religious identity. Moreover, interfaith dialogue and empowerment can be implemented through the educational curriculum. Extra-curricular activities such as camps and scouts are a rife space for youth engagement and training. The InterFaith Youth Camp gives youth the opportunity to engage in change and contribute to their society and community. This small camp provides them with knowledge and gives them a space to build friendships from different religious, faith, and cultural communities. Similarly, the scout movement can enable young people of different backgrounds to meet through the scout movement. In Madagascar, people of the three different Scout branches (Catholic, Protestant and Lay) have decided to join hands in order to create more collective activities. This practice welcomes children of all backgrounds and embraces their individual identities. It acknowledges the child’s experience, affirms their core sense of identity and belonging, and seeks to nurture their developing sense of environments and communities (home, school, local community, and faith or belief community, civil society). It endorses the youth’s faith and belief, thus it influences their sense of identity and belonging while it nurtures their sense for justice and peaceful coexistence.

OmanRwandaUSACyprusBuddhismChristianityIslamJudaismMultireligious

Interfaith Art

Art can be an innovative practice to promote interfaith dialogue and peaceful coexistence. Through exhibitions, murals, or classes, individuals of different backgrounds can unite together and create art that transcends beliefs and clashes. A community or an organization can organize an exhibition on particular characteristics of a religion to present to other faiths, to engage in understanding, interfaith dialogue and coexistence. Moreover, local artists can work with faith-based communities, local residents, and college students to produce murals that reflect shared values and hopes for their neighbourhood, therefore bridging religious, socio-economic, racial, and generational divides. For people who cannot use words to express how they feel or those who are subject to oppression, art can be a peaceful way of expression and protest. Art products can be gathered in a free exhibition in a public area to raise awareness. Ultimately this practice pushes participants to ponder and evaluate their preconceived ideas and prejudices through art.

South AfricaCosta RicaUSAPeruIndiaChristianityIslamJudaismMultireligious

Environment Campaign

By organising an environmental campaign, whether through trips to a public space, creating eco-villages, or fasting for the climate, this practice can bring people of different religions and backgrounds together to unite around the same values. They get together to work on a project designed to take care of the environment and to raise awareness of and advocate for it. Depending on the needs, the practice can be organised by religious communities, NGOs, schools and/or any level of government, as well as by any committed individuals. By promoting environmental issues, this promising practice can inspire people to collaborate, work with each other against their differences, and be environmentally friendly, thus it increases interfaith awareness and creates a space to gather and protect nature.

UKIslam

Attend Each Other's Religious Celebrations

Attending or participating in celebrations and ceremonies of different religious communities generates a better understanding of each other’s religions and creates an opportunity to connect across religious traditions. The practice can take place in worship places, in people’s houses during celebration times of the respective traditions or even in neutral rooms, depending on the needs, and may be conducted by individuals and groups alike. It is also possible to come together for meditation or common prayers without the context of a particular religious holiday. Designed as an interreligious experience, the practice encourages deeper understanding of participating religious communities as well as the place of the dialogue participants within each of them, as such visits further consolidate the dialogue by seeing a religious person ‘in action’ within the context of their respective religious communities.

The concept of Promising Practices was developed in a close collaboration with the Harvard Pluralism Project.  

The data was collected with support of our partner Interfaith Tour

Disclaimer:
The information and material published on this website is for informational purposes only. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information and material published on this website, KAICIID makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy, completeness, reliability, suitability, currency or comprehensiveness and assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omission and/or for any loss, damage, liability or expense arising in connection with or attributable to any action or decision taken as a result of using or relying on the information and material of this website. The views, opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed and the actions taken by the identified stakeholder(s) are strictly those of the respective stakeholder(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the KAICIID or its Member States.