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Ecumenical & Interreligious Relations

Why Interreligious


The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has long advocated for positive relationships with people of other religious traditions and to follow Christ’s command to “….love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Religious plurality has become an issue of prime importance in North America as communities across the country are welcoming greater religious and cultural backgrounds. The implications of loving our religious neighbors as ourselves must pervade all areas of our life together.

The PC(USA) has adopted nine spheres of life in which interreligious understandings are challenging us and need to be acted on by the people of God.

  • Human Needs-hunger, natural disasters, poverty, and disease
  • Social Justice- such as forced migration, human rights violations, unjust imprisonment, militarism, and totalitarianism
  • Mission and Evangelism-dialogical interreligious conversations promote the virtues of mutual respect and understanding
  • Conflict-too many of the world’s conflicts have a religious component and is used by government and non-governmental groups to justify war
  • Families- challenges arise for interreligious families as they work through divisions over religious beliefs and how to raise children
  • Education- articulate a broader definition of education that includes, and values lived experiences to engage people
  • Communities-many non-Christian, non-white, non-Western backgrounds often experience discrimination based on religion/culture
  • Congregations-diversity of culture creates challenges as children develop friendships and relationships with those from a different culture
  • Workplace-people can create an environment of respect and love for co-workers of other religions.

Related Resources:
Interreligious Stance - as approved by the 221st General Assembly (2014)