International Day of Friendship was created to inspire peace and bridge building. On July 30th, the Church of Scientology will host a diverse crowd to dialogue for the occasion.
As evidenced by recent shootings in Chattanooga, Memphis and Nashville, change is needed in Tennessee. In light of this, several groups and organizations are coming together to participate in a dialogue to shed light on stereotypes that have been built up around specific types of people with the end goal of shifting them to a more positive representation.
This dialogue will be hosted by the Church of Scientology and facilitated by a minister of another faith on a day when friendship is celebrated across the world. Those participating in the discussion range from police officers to gang members, Muslims to Jews, businessmen to non-profit organizers, and a vast array of political affiliations.
“We are following Dr. Martin Luther King’s message about driving out hate with love,” says Rev. Brian Fesler, pastor of the Nashville Church of Scientology. He is referencing the quote by Dr. King, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
International Day of Friendship is an observance that was dignified in 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly with the idea that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities,” according to un.org.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “On this International Day of Friendship, let us cultivate warm ties that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family.”
The event in Nashville will take place in late July. It’s being called “A Journey to Friendship Through Dialogue,” and is formatted to help break down barriers and have people open up to each other.
The Church of Scientology is involved in this effort through its community betterment program, The Way to Happiness. Based on the book of the same name by L. Ron Hubbard, the program is predicated on the fact that one’s survival depends on the survival of others—and that without the survival of others, neither joy nor happiness are attainable. Several concepts in the book promote dialogue and friendship. Among them, “Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others,” “Be Worthy of Trust,” and “Try to Treat Others As You Would Want them to Treat You.”
For more information on the Church of Scientology, its programs or upcoming events, visit scientology-ccnashville.org.