U.S. Christians will mark Sept. 11 anniversary by inviting Muslims to open houses and hosting overseas Muslims

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- The National Council of Churches is asking its affiliated congregations to mark the anniversary of Sept. 11 by holding open houses and inviting Muslim neighbors to attend.

The gesture will reverse what happened last September, when many U.S. mosques held open houses for non-Muslim neighbors to build understanding.

The board of the National Council, which has 140,000 affiliated U.S. Protestant and Orthodox congregations, approved the Open Doors Interfaith Hospitality Project at its May meeting.

The program, developed in consultation with U.S. Muslim organizations, is being led by the Rev. Jay Rock, the National Council's interfaith relations director, and professor Jane Smith of Hartford Seminary in Connecticut.

One of the National Council's member denominations, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will also promote an interfaith theme for the anniversary. The Presbyterians are inviting 10 foreign teams of one Muslim and one Protestant to visit U.S. congregations Sept. 10-23.

Teams are scheduled to visit from Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Jordan, Lebanon, Niger and the Philippines.

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National Council of Churches open house information:

http://www.ncccusa.org/interfaith/openhouse-intro.html



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