In light of recent news of violence in Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis, not to mention across the country, the Nashville Church of Scientology brought together several different groups to hash out stereotypes and bring people together for honest conversations. The occasion: International Day of Friendship.
Led by a Christian Minister, the dialogue focused on unearthing the reason behind racism and how to look at our fellows with a more positive view.
The Church of Scientology’s community hall was packed with a wide variety of people in an intentionally diverse mix. Attending the event were businessmen and women, non-profit leaders, former gang members, police officers, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Christians of varying denominations, African Americans, Asian Americans, Caucasians, Latinos and more.
The dialogue took place on a day when friendship is celebrated across the world. “We hope that those attending took away the positive message to respect others regardless of skin color, religion or any other reason to think someone is different or should be cast aside,” says Rev. Brian Fesler, pastor of the Nashville Church of Scientology.
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 Church of Scientology hosted the event as part of an ongoing effort to reach out to the community 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.