By Brice H Balmer

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Extra info for Meeting Our Multifaith Neighbor

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Consider the following points: hospitable and inclusive 49 It is all right to be apprehensive when there are many things about the stranger we do not know. We can trust God to walk with us as we learn to know the neighbor. It is all right to worry about our innocent mistakes and errors. We are just beginning this experience. Our neighbors may have the same worries, and we can learn from each other. We may be enthusiastic about our experience with our new acquaintances, but friends and associates may not share our excitement or our interest in learning more.

39 It takes the courage of someone like South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu to break the power of resentments and hostility so groups can learn to work together. How can religious leaders promote working together and healing rather than hostility and fear? Competition Hindus, who believe in respect for all religions, sometimes view proselytizing as a hostile activity. Their interpretation has strong connections to British imperialism there, which supported a western missionary movement and brought many Western traditions to that country.

Some German Christians would have had contact with various Russian Orthodox groups but were not to interact with them on religious or spiritual matters. A humble superiority often resides in isolated groups because the others are more “worldly” and the group is “set apart” by tradition and choice. The isolation is reinforced through baptism, church discipline, and family ties. Little spiritual or faith conversation with others outside the community occurs, and it is not desired. Members of isolated communities may not wish to give a testimony about personal beliefs in Jesus Christ.

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