PBS airs segment on local Interfaith Understanding efforts

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The 2012 Year of Interfaith Understanding efforts in Grand Rapids, including events at Grand Valley, received national attention with a segment on the Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly program which aired on PBS online February 1 and on WGVU-TV on February 1. Watch the video here.

The segment includes an interview by PBS correspondent Judy Valente with Doug Kindschi, director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Cambridge University Inter-Faith Programme. Recorded in Grand Rapids, the segment explores the unique programming held during the past year, including more than 250 events by congregations, campuses and the community, and how it can serve as a model for the nation. It also stressed how the leaders of the Interfaith Understanding efforts took pains to reassure religiously conservative groups that delving into other religions doesn’t risk diluting any one religion’s set of beliefs.

“We’re not promoting faith. We’re not even promoting interfaith. We’re promoting understanding,” said Kindschi. Grand Rapids’ interfaith dialogue will continue this year with a variety of smaller individual projects, led largely by the generation about to come of age. “I think it’s the high school students who are ready for this, and they’re the ones who have the most to gain by true interfaith understanding,” said Kindschi.

For more information about upcoming events visit www.interfaithunderstanding.org.