Hate graffiti, death threats, and violence toward people of religion have become recurrent mainstream news. FBI hate crime statistics show that incidents in churches, synagogues, temples and mosques increased 34.8 percent between 2014 and 2018, the last year for which FBI data is available.
“In order to truly combat religious discrimination in this day and age, we have to come together and learn about the religious other,” said Rev. Brian Fesler, pastor of the Church of Scientology. The Church brought together people of many different faiths and cultures the first week of February to take part in a service for World Interfaith Harmony Week. The theme was “Faith in Harmony” and featured music as a key part of the special service.
Members of the various congregations sang and played music together while faith leaders shared words of wisdom on the importance of all people coming together in harmony.
The Creed of the Church of Scientology begins with the words: “We of the Church believe that all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights; that all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance.”
Rev. Fesler said, “Everyone, regardless of race, religion, culture—everyone deserves to have a voice, to live in peace, and to practice their religion in harmony with the rest of mankind. It is part of our very fabric to support others’ rights and their ability to practice their religion in peace, so that is what we are emphasizing in this service.”
From its beginnings, the Church of Scientology has recognized that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.
The Church publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.