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US State Department creates office ‘to engage with’ world’s religious communities

Catholic World News - August 08, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry has announced the creation of the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, whose mission, he said, is “to engage more closely with faith communities around the world, with the belief that we need to partner with them to solve global challenges.”

“There is common ground between the Abrahamic faiths, and, in fact, between the Abrahamic faiths and all religions and philosophies, whether you’re talking about Hindu or Confucianism or any other of the many of the world’s different approaches to our existence here on the planet and to our relationship with a supreme being,” said Kerry.

“All of these faiths are virtuous and they are in fact, most of them, tied together by the golden rule, as well as fundamental concerns about the human condition, about poverty, about relationships between people, our responsibilities each to each other,” he continued. “And they all come from the same human heart.”

“Islam has to a large measure been hijacked by people who have no real depth with respect to what the faith in fact preaches, but who interpret it in ways that lead people to conflict and even to violence,” Kerry added.

Shaun Casey, who will lead the office, said that “as religious leaders and faith communities shape their environments, they also have an influence and shape our own foreign policy concerns here in the United States. It’s essential for the United States to understand them and to bring them into our diplomacy and development efforts.”

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  • Posted by: rpp - Aug. 08, 2013 9:38 AM ET USA

    I do not trust anything from the current administration when it comes to matters directly associated with religion in general or Islam and Christianity in particular. They never seem to say what they really mean and most seem to be guided not by the faith they wear on their sleeves, but rather by an exclusive secular view. The comments about "Abrahamic faiths" and Islam reveal this, or at least a crippling naivete.

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