Bahai News - Episcopalians study other religions Twin Falls, Idho -- Saturday, April 07, 2001

Episcopalians study other religions

GOODING -- In an effort to foster tolerance for diversity in an increasingly diverse culture, Trinity Episcopal Church is sponsoring a study series on other religions.

Catherine Statts, the volunteer coordinator for the series, said, "Throughout history, wars were fought because of religious intolerance and bigotry." She added that she feels the best way to eliminate prejudice and bigotry is for people to get acquainted with one another.

The idea is that getting to know someone eliminates the fear of the unknown, which, Statts claims, is the basis of prejudice.

The first religion being studied in the series is Baha'i.

The Baha'i faith was founded by Baha'u'llah in Persia, explained Judy Silcock, a local Baha'i member. Baha'i means "Glory of God."

Baha'u'llah taught that all religions pray to the same God. And all religions spring from the same source -- God. Only the name of God is different in the different religions because of the difference of language.

According to Baha'i, prophets from different faiths -- Moses, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Buddha -- all taught basically the same thing. The Baha'i believe that mankind is evolving spiritually, with the different religions building upon one another.

Silcock and Bill Farnsworth, another member of the Twin Falls Baha'i congregation, will present a video at the Episcopal gathering and will answer questions.

Statts said she is looking for representatives of as many other religions as possible to tell about their religions and answer questions. She is particularly looking for representatives of non-Christian religions -- Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Confucianism, Muslim.

Anyone willing to speak to the group should contact Statts at 934-4556.

The first in a series on "Other People's Religions" will focus on the Baha'i faith. The program will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Episcopal Church, 125 Seventh Ave. W. in Gooding. The public is invited.


©Copyright 2001, The Times-News

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