The Church of Scientology in Nashville opened its doors to all religious communities for a special service in observance of World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Unity was the watchword on February 1st at the Nashville Church of Scientology, where leaders held an interfaith service to help bring people together. “These are times that call for all of us to be united as one, not stand apart,” says Rev. Brian Fesler, pastor of the church and organizer of the interfaith service, “Everyone in this room has a different background, a different faith tradition, but they are all my friends.”
Hate graffiti, death threats, and violence toward people of religion have become recurrent mainstream news. As recently as January 9th, the Washington Post reports that the “FBI is looking into bomb threats at Jewish centers in the United States...”
“In order to truly combat religious discrimination in this day and age, we have to come together and learn about the religious other,” says Rev. Fesler.
During the service, members from several faith traditions spoke about why it is important to their faith and to them that all people come together in unity. The faiths represented included Sikhs, Baha’is, Baptists, Latter-day Saints, Scientologists, Buddhists, Catholics, and Muslims.
The service was held in observance of World Interfaith Harmony Week, the first week of February, which was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in a resolution adopted on 20 October 2010. In the resolution, the General Assembly points out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and establishes World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith, according to UN.org.
The Church of Scientology’s creed begins with the words: “We of the Church believe that all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights; that all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance…”
“It is part of our very fabric to support others’ rights and abilities to practice their religion in peace, so that is what we are lifting up through this service,” says Rev. Fesler.
For more information about Scientology, its practices or beliefs, visit scientology.org.