Baha'i News -- NCCJ is planning monthly seminars on various religions

NCCJ is planning monthly seminars on various religions

By Venessa Santos-Garza Caller-Times
October 5, 2002

NCCJ is planning monthly seminars on various religions

By Venessa Santos-Garza Caller-Times
October 5, 2002

Beginning Sunday, the National Conference for Community and Justice will sponsor a seminar each month from now until May on different faiths. The series, titled Experiencing Our Neighbor's Faith House of Worship Tour, will offer the community an opportunity to gain insight into the city's diverse religious cultures.

Faith leaders from the Hindu, Muslim, Judaism, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bahai, Metropolitan Church, Catholic and Unitarian Universalist communities will be taking part. All sessions are free and open to the public.

"We are hoping to combat fear of different cultures and make Corpus Christi's religious community more united because with unity comes strength, understanding and respect," said Annette Abel, Adult Program Specialist for NCCJ.

The local Hindu temple will host the first seminar Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m., 1617 Paul Jones Avenue, with prayer services led by a Santh or a faith leader from the Houston area. Sri Jnanpurushdas Santh will educate participants on traditional prayers and rituals and answer questions from the audience, said organizer Prarbha Mulukutla.

"I think many people in our community are willing to learn," she said. "At least after Sept. 11 I hope they are. This program is very educational because it helps people to see the similarities between the different faiths and appreciate differences."

Some of those differences in the Hindu faith, Mulukutla said, include before she enters the temple she removes her shoes and in her religion they worship idols.

Pinkie Ratliff, public affairs director for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said in her church Bishops oversee their services and most people prefer to be referred to by their formal denomination name and not its nickname - Mormon.

"We've been nicknamed Mormon because we use the Book of Mormon," she said.

Ratliff said those are the kind of details that are often overlooked but to some people are very important. She is hoping the series will change that.

"We couldn't do any worse by trying to understand each other better."

Contact Venessa Santos-Garza at 886-3752 or

©Copyright 2002, Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)

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