In 2018, the Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA) persisted in its mission to build and promote peace in the Holy Land by encouraging interfaith dialogue.
Despite the challenges created by the cut of USAID funding to all projects that build bridges between Israelis and Palestinians, IEA facilitated a record number of 414 encounters and events across 101 groups, oversaw the creation or renewal of 11 groups, and engaged an estimated 4,000 people.
Please take a look at this colorful and inspiring document, summarizing the activity of the Interfaith Encounter Association during 2018.
How It Works:
The IEA invites people from different traditional and cultural backgrounds and faiths to join our groups. Within the groups, participants have meaningful encounters which bring them closer to each other. Prejudice, hostility, and suspicion are transformed into direct acquaintance, mutual respect, and friendship. Our groups are both a model for intercommunal relations of appreciation and care, and vehicles to promote them.
Unlike most other dialogue organizations, we work with, rather than around, the deep cultural roots, beliefs and traditions of the peoples of the Middle East. Each encounter is focused on a religious theme and features a carefully planned program of joint study and dialogue. The group then coalesces into a single community that respects the unique identity of each of its “sub-communities” and participants, which helps create a long-term process of grassroots peace-building. By constructively engaging core religious and cultural values, while initially discouraging political conversations that may close off constructive dialogue, our approach successfully involves social and political groups that may feel very uncomfortable with other approaches.