This Week in Interfaith America: A News Roundup

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia speaks during the Center on Faith and Justice launch event at Gerogetown University, Nov. 17, 2021, in Washington. Photo by Phil Humnicky/Georgetown University

Every week, we compile a list of stand-out stories about religious diversity and interfaith engagement. To share feedback or make a suggestion for next week’s top 10, email us here.

What the Metaverse Means for Religion Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Senior Advisor for Public Affairs and Innovation at IFYC, writes that Facebook's name change is a call to action for all who care about religion.The metaverse has dramatic implications that should make all of us sit up, lean in, and claim our role in shaping the worlds within the world that is being created,” he says.

IFYC’s Guide to Gratitude This Holiday Season  Silma Suba and Kristina Viera of IFYC share what colleagues have been watching, reading and listening to that cultivates an attitude for gratitude.

On Loving the ‘Spiritual Misfits’ and Reimagining the Possible For Interfaith America, five interfaith leaders share readings and resources that inspire them, give them hope and offer solace in turbulent times.

How Meatpacking Work and Faith Intersect in the Heartland. For Religion & Politics, Eric C. Miller interviews Kristy Nabhan-Warren about her new book, Meatpacking America: How Migration, Work, and Faith Unite and Divide the Heartland.”

New Initiatives Aims to Change How Movies Portray Muslims Colin Moynihan of The New York Times reports on a new database to encourage representation of Muslims in film. “The project, the Pillars Muslim Artist Database, was announced on Tuesday by the Pillars Fund, an advocacy group in Chicago.” 

Images of Love, Hope and Unity Surround Kenosha. A year ago, IFYC’s Paul Brandeis Raushenbush wrote this story about interfaith efforts to bring calm to Kenosha, Wisconsin. To learn more about interfaith efforts in this community, check out Congregations United to Serve Humanity Kenosha or this piece by Deon J. Hampton of NBC News: Religious Leaders Call for Justice and Peace Ahead of Verdict in Rittenhouse Case.  

Black Pastors Gather in Brunswick to Support Ahmaud Arbury’s Family For NPR, Liz Baker and Debbie Elliott report on an interfaith effort in Georgia in response to a statement from defense attorney Kevin Gough: “ ‘We don't want any more Black pastors coming in here ... sitting with the victim's family; trying to influence the jurors in this case,’ argued Gough, who represents William "Roddie" Bryan, and who compared it to a mob trial where gang members pack the gallery in a silent threat to the jury.”

Warnock, Sewell Discuss 'Sacred Voting Rights' -- and Whether God is Black Jack Jenkins of Religion News Service reports that the two lawmakers appeared at "Race, Religion and the Assault on Voting Rights," the inaugural event at Georgetown University's Center on Faith and Justice.

What Standup Comedians Can Teach the Church. Russell Moore in Christianity Today writes that for preachers, the “element of surprise—an involuntary reaction that goes beyond our sets of ideologies and expectations—is actually a key part of what we are called to do, and the lack of it partially explains why we so often fail.”

Baylor’s Black Gospel Archive and Learning Center Now Open to the Public. For Baptist News Global, Jeff Hampton writes of a ground-breaking new music archive in Texas.



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The Jan. 6 insurrection of the U.S. Capitol drew recent attention to the phenomenon of Christian nationalism, but religious and spiritual leaders acknowledge its existence long before that.
A new interfaith curriculum designed for Christian universities and seminaries recently got a test run. One professor who tried it says it's opened hearts and minds: "The desire is very much there."
"The only way we can move to a true Beloved Community is in telling the truth about what this country has done, including, notably, the intense racism that has driven voting rights," the Rev. Adam Russell Taylor writes.
The Rev. Karen Brau, pastor of Luther Place, told the small crowd gathered in the melting snow that despite the harassment they experienced a year prior, the faith leaders never stopped their prayerful witness.
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The Pontifical Academy for Life has become the most attacked Vatican department online.
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The author began practicing Buddhism while in prison, meditating daily and keeping a gratitude journal. He now aims to help other convicts as a field minister through the North Carolina Field Minister Program.

The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.