Central Ohio Organization Offers a Model of Interfaith Relations

May 10, 2002

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On May 10, 2002, The Columbus Dispatch reported "Group Unites Eight Faiths for Mutual Enlightenment." It reported on the efforts of the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio: "Members of the 17-year-old association think that the community's religious tolerance, though a good start, isn't enough. 'We need to move beyond that to understanding and respect,' said Tarunjit Butalia, a spokesman for the association and representative of the Sikh community." The article noted that "The association also benefits from having been selected to serve on the religious advisory committee of Mayor Michael B. Coleman." In addition to regular meetings, the association comes together in times of crisis: an interfaith observance was planned one week after September 11; the association and many of its members offered assistance to the local Islamic Center after it was ransacked. The newest members of the association are members of the Jain faith; other religions include "Baha'ism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Three representatives from each faith form the association's governing body."