Events Category

Peace Catalyst Connects with Somali Refugees in San Diego

Peace Catalyst works in cities and neighborhoods across the U.S. to promote understanding and peace between Christians and Muslims, and one of our most recent events was a Peace Feast in San Diego.

Evangelicals for Peace in a Country Divided

I went to Washington DC the week after the Presidential election. I, along with 50 others, were there for the Evangelicals for Peace consultation, “Christians Engaging Global Conflict: ISIS and Syria.” So what kind of peace did this evangelical consultation bring to DC?

Redefining WE

For the last 7 months I have been working on a nationwide photography project called “Redefining WE.” I collaborated with [primarily] female photographers around the United States to create a collection of images that dismantles stereotypes, facilitate dialogue, and create a sense of mutuality between Muslim and Christian women.

Through Windows and Around Tables

In April, I had the pleasure of visiting the Embassy of Finland as a representative of Peace Catalyst to discuss the Marrakesh Declaration with religious leaders and others. Muslim and Christian leaders, and others, were here to fight—for human flourishing. Below are four reflections from this unique experience.

Learning and Speaking of Peace in Istanbul

This quote by Martin Luther King Jr. captures the purpose of my recent trip to Istanbul, Turkey. I joined religious peacebuilders from around the world for a three-day conference to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of our peacebuilding efforts. It was fun being with a group of peace warriors who ask hard questions and seek to upgrade and learn from one another.

From Indonesia, the Peace Tree and the Making of History

This story comes from one of our newest Peace Catalyst staff members, Jaime Harris, who has been living and making peace in Indonesia for 20 years through education, serving the poor, organizing interfaith events, and more.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Rays of Hope in a Dark Divide

I was invited to speak at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference in Bethlehem this year, so I invited my good friend Tim McDonell to join me. We went early to meet with Israelis and Palestinians before the conference. Our natural tendency is to focus on the plight of the Palestinians, so we determined to fight this prejudice by listening to and empathizing with both Palestinians AND Israelis.

Love Your Neighbor (Whatever His Religion)

The world seems to be going mad. If you go by what the news reports, the situation is pretty bleak. Particularly when it comes to relations between Christians and Muslims. But what we hear on the news is not the whole story.

Islamophobia Hurts America

Douglas Johnston, known as the father of faith-based diplomacy, opened a recent conference on Religious Freedom and Islamophobia at Temple University by saying, “The greatest asset we have to fight militant Islam is the American Muslim community. Unfortunately, we have alienated many in this community... and as the Muslim community is marginalized, it plays into the hands of extremists.”

Imams and Pastors Spreading the Peace

"Islam is dangerous and promotes violence." It was hard to start on such a negative note. But that is why this gathering was so important.

Not In Our Town: Louisville Mosque Cleanup Video

After the cleanup effort organized in response to recent vandalism at a Louisville mosque, this video was put together by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's office. We are proud to be part of efforts like this to promote peace and cooperation for the common good in Louisville and cities around the country.

Love Wins Again in Louisville After Mosque Vandalism

On September 16th, members of a Louisville Islamic center arrived at the mosque to find it vandalized with disturbing messages spray painted across the building. But the malicious act, supposedly intended to cause division in the community, actually had the exact oppositive effect.

Two Nighttime Flights

She was a refugee from Syria, a beautiful young woman, dressed in black from head to toe. A patterned scarf was tied around her head and tucked into a lightweight double-breasted suit coat that skirted the floor. She spoke passionately in a language I couldn’t understand, and her young interpreter had to stop a time or two to choke back tears.

A Different Kind of Peace Feast: Mediation with Burmese Refugees

23 Burmese refugee leaders gathered for a peace feast in Denver. We all sat cross-legged on mats, enjoying a variety of delicious Burmese foods and talking. But this was different than most Peace Feasts.

Louisville Peace Feast Helps Children in Pakistan

How amazing. Peace Catalyst gets Christians and Muslims together in Louisville, Kentucky and friendships are formed. Then God uses these connections to care for orphaned Christian children in Pakistan.

UNC Shooting & Peace Catalyst Mourning in North Carolina

This is a sad morning here in the Raleigh area, as we are grieving the loss of lives. Most of you have heard the news already that young Muslim lives were taken last night in a shooting near UNC. This is a beautiful, kind, loving, and generous family. They have worked here for peace between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Love Looks Like Henna, Falafel, and Mary Kay

The laughter of women, the smell of Mediterranean delicacies, and the array of beauty products filled Maha's home. For two days, her house was transformed to funnel compassion into action.

A Special Luncheon

By taking the time to meet our neighbors, new friendships can be formed. There may be many things we don't agree on, but there is one thing that we do agree upon: God is great and He is our creator. He desires that His children love and care for one another.

We Are Friends

Most Saturday mornings Susan fixes a great breakfast. Friends arrive around 10. Some are Iranian. Some are Palestinian. Others Turkish and Yemeni. We always have halal food for our Muslim friends. Most weeks they pitch in. We have traditional eggs and pancakes mixed with dolma, samoosas, hummus, and borek. We were going to call it "Brunch and Share," but we are friends, so most just call it breakfast.

The FBI Came to Our Somali Peace Feast

The FBI agent was a sharply dressed young woman. I wondered why she was attending the Somali Peace Feast. Another friend who works with local internationals said this FBI agent had been a friend to the international community, helping both the agency and the local police department be more sympathetic with the immigrant populations.

Terrorism and Peacemaking in Pakistan (Part One)

Meet Mossarat Qadeem. She illustrates the side of Pakistan that most Americans never hear about. She leads an organization called Mothers for Change, a womens group unlike any other I have heard of. The goal of her organization is to identify mothers whose sons are being radicalized - young men who are being drawn into Taliban or Al Qaeda type terrorist organizations.

Another Seat at the Table: Thanksgiving Friendship Dinners

Inspired by my own memories of being warmly welcomed into Azerbaijani homes for traditional holidays during my two years in the Peace Corps, I envisioned international students celebrating Thanksgiving at friendship dinners. What better way to develop friendships between Muslims and Christians than over great food and conversation? The Thanksgiving holiday seemed like a perfect time to include guests from Muslim backgrounds at the table.

Planting Seeds of Peace in Syria: Helping Suffering Refugees

The war in Syria is complex and catastrophic. The United Nations has called this conflict one of the very worst humanitarian disasters the world has seen. Even worse, the governments of the world seem incapable of helping. So what can people of faith do about this?

Pakistani Friends Seeking Peace

My friend Dr. Babar is a Pakistani physician and a leader in the local mosque. We were working together to organize a Pakistani Peace Feast at which we planned to get Christians and Muslims in the same room, sharing a meal around the same table, and talking about Pakistan. Martin, Babar said over the phone, the US State Department has eight Pakistani journalists visiting Louisville this week. Should we invite them to the Peace Feast?

A Report on Evangelicals for Peace: What Happened and Where are We Headed?

I have been on a high ever since the Evangelicals for Peace Summit! I want to thank Peter Sensenig, David Johnston, Greg Metzger, and Byron Borger for their excellent blogs about the summit. I am humbled by the phone calls and emails I have received congratulating me and calling the summit a success. Here's how it went:

Evangelicals for Peace: Jesus at the Center of Peacemaking

All the hard work and planning has paid off, and the Evangelicals for Peace summit was a tremendous success! We had a phenomenal lineup of speakers and a packed room full of attendees. Peacemaking is a movement that is beginning to take hold, but what was specifically unique about this group is the focus on Jesus-centered peacemaking. Here's what participant Peter Sensenig had to say about the gathering and how Jesus is at the center of this kind of peacemaking.

Evangelicals for Peace: A Leftist, Pacifist Plot or Jesus-Centered Conversation?

I laughed and then cringed when I read the title of Mark D. Tooley's blog, "Evangelical Left Plots D.C. Pacifist Summit. He was referring to the upcoming Evangelicals for Peace summit that I am organizing. Thank you Mark for raising concerns and giving me an opportunity to clarify what we hope to do.

Hate Crime Meets Love Rally: The Joplin Mosque Burning

I joined hundreds of people last Saturday night (August 25) at Landreth Park in Joplin, Missouri to show solidarity with Muslims whose mosque was recently burned to the ground. The Neighbors Joplin Mosque Rally was organized by 20 year-old Ozark Christian College student Ashley Carter. "We send a message to the world that we will not let anger or hate or ignorance or fear win," she said. "Peace starts when we always respond in love. We are not going to let hatred win," she added. "We are going to spread love with radical acts of kindness."

Church & State, War & Peace: Evangelicals for Peace summit in DC

we also believe that it is possible to be concerned about national security and at the same time follow the Prince of Peace. We know that these two concerns don't have to be at odds. But I have found that most people haven't thought deeply about church and state, and war and peace. Where do you stand? If you are not sure, or want to grow in your understanding, I invite you to listen to ten world class leaders address these issues. Please join me in Washington DC, September 14, 2012 for...

Towards an Evangelical Peace Movement

Throughout our nation's history, it's been an axiom that Presidents lead us into wars, while Christians provide the flags and the crosses. Barring a few notable exceptions-Anabaptists, Quakers, and early Pentecostals-evangelical fervor has often promoted an uncritical nationalism that baptizes American military adventures with religious legitimacy. It's no coincidence that the setting of Mark Twain's famous War Prayer -in which Twain delivers a devastating critique of the use of religion to justify imperialism-is a Protestant Christian church. Given the historical record, it may seem the deck is stacked against American evangelicals organizing into a comprehensive peace movement-yet that's exactly what's happening.

Evangelicals for Peace? War, Terrorism, & National Security

An Open Letter to American Evangelicals: I am profoundly disturbed by the American evangelical resp...

A Funny Thing Happened at the Mosque...

One important part of what we do with Peace Catalyst is introducing Christians to Muslims, so that they can build friendships and learn from each other. With this goal in mind, a couple of weeks ago, Martin and I met a group of Christian friends at a local mosque. We observed the prayer time and toured the facility. We enjoyed our visit; and as we were leaving, the leaders there invited us to a special event that would include a dinner, special speakers, and a Muslim comedian. We had no idea what that even meant-a Muslim comedian-at the mosque?? We were intrigued, so last Friday night we went to check it out.

Muslims, Christians, and Jews Find Common Ground for the Common Good

In Peace Catalyst International, we aspire to launch a global movement of Jesus-centered peacemaking communities. To that end, our PCI team in Raleigh has helped to catalyze a significant movement of Muslims and Christians who are moving beyond unhelpful stereotypes and are building bridges of friendship and trust. Back in the fall, however, things took a major twist for us. A well-respected local rabbi reached out, basically saying that he had heard about our work in bringing Muslims and Christians together and that he wanted his Jewish congregation in on the fun.

Peacemaking and Muslims: Let's Not Miss This Opportunity!

Are today's evangelical Christians going to miss the opportunity to be peacemakers in this generation? Generational blind spots have caused many Christians to miss the blessing of following Jesus as a peacemaker in the issues of their day-slavery, human rights of Native Americans, Japanese who were interned in camps during WWII, minorities during the civil rights era, etc. Is the issue of how we treat our Muslim neighbors nearby or around the world going to be another one of those missed opportunities?

Kumi Conflict Transformation Training

We were honored to have Brandon Sipes and Jim Weigel with our Arizona staff team last week. They belong to a group of people who developed the Kumi method. What is Kumi? It's an approach to conflict transformation that developed out of the issues in Israel-Palestine and is now being used around the world in many types of conflict. We wanted to hear from Brandon and Jim about their work and see how it could help us with our own work of peacemaking.

Jesus in Washington D.C.

Like most Americans, I am frustrated by the government. Polarization and gridlock of congress; attack ads and uncivil discourse; inability to stop the economic meltdown. What a mess! I feel like Nathanael did when he heard about Jesus for the first time: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" I have to ask, "Can anything good come out of Washington, DC?" Well, there is at least one good thing coming out of Washington, DC that we should rejoice over, and that is the National Prayer Breakfast.

Peace Catalyst and Redemption Church bless Arizona refugees this Christmas

Walking with refugees is one of Peace Catalyst's priorities in Phoenix, and we're thankful to have the partnership of Redemption Church in this work. Arizona is home to tens of thousands of refugees, and the people of Redemption recently got together to bless them this Christmas. Members of the church partnered with Peace Catalyst to donate much-needed supplies and other gifts to the Maricopa Women's Refugee Health Clinic for distribution to refugee mothers throughout the Valley. There were so many gifts that it actually took a U-haul to deliver them all! A huge thank you to everyone involved! A whole lot of women are about to be made very happy because of your generosity.

Photos from last night's Uzbek Peace Feast

Last night's Peace Feast at Golden Valley Uzbek restaurant was a huge success! Thank you to all our guests for coming out to hear the story of our Uzbek friends, and thank you to our hosts for making it such a wonderful evening!

What's the Vision for Peace Feast?

God has hidden His beauty and creativity in the various cultures of the world. It would take hundreds of days and thousands of dollars to travel the world, but God has blessed us by bringing ethnic restaurants to our neighborhoods. Instead of traveling for 20 hours, we only have to drive for 20 minutes to get a taste of the cultures of this world.

How Did the Peace Feast Get Started?

In 2004, a group of about 25 people from a small church group met at a Lebanese restaurant near Arizona State University. Each week they came with hungry stomachs and open ears. This group was interested in other cultures, and Ali, the owner of the restaurant, didn’t leave them disappointed. He would always recommend different meals, explaining the ingredients and telling stories about meal times in Lebanon.

What is Peace Feast?

At Peace Catalyst, we do this thing - which we would love others to reproduce around the world - called Peace Feast. We've got two events coming up in Phoenix, so we thought we'd take this opportunity to share a few blog posts about what Peace Feast is, what the vision for it is, and how it got started. So for today, what is Peace Feast?

English Classes with our Somali Bantu Friends

We at Peace Catalyst are priveleged to have an ongoing partnership with the Somali Bantu refugee community in Phoenix, and we wanted to share with you a quick video of what goes on at our many weekly English classes. We're so thankful for our amazing new Somali friends and our incredible group of volunteer teachers who make this all possible!

Lumen Video: Jim Mullins

Jim Mullins, Peace Catalyst's VP of Stategic Initiatives shares the story of how he became a peacemaker, and issues a call to others to use the resources and skills they already have to do what he calls, "carrot cake peacemaking."

Beyond Fundamentalism: A Lecture by Reza Aslan

Some of the PCI team at a lively lecture by author and scholar Reza Aslan entitled "Beyond Fundamentalism." The lecture, hosted by the Arizona State University Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, was an insightful discussion on the Arab Spring, democracy, and religious extremism.

September 11: Remembering the Tragedies, Turning Toward Peace

September 11, 2001 is a day that will never and should never be forgotten. On that day, in the space of a few short hours, two tragedies took place. The first and most painful: almost three thousand Americans lost their lives in the horrific terrorist attacks. But a second tragedy occurred on 9/11. An act of terror perpetrated by extremists led to the demonization of an entire religion. After 9/11, Muslims = terrorists.

A Rabbi, a Priest, and an Imam: A Report from the Yale Building Hope Conference

A rabbi, a priest and an imam were sitting in a cafe drinking coffee and smoking shisha.... The beginning of a politically incorrect joke? No. One of my favourite moments from the Building Hope Conference in July 2011.

Love God and Love Your (Muslim) Neighbor

Sixty one people gathered recently at the Mile High Vineyard in Arvada, Colorado to obey Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor.” Almost half of those attending were Muslim – from the Abu Bakr Mosque in Denver. We gathered to share, to talk, and to break down barriers… by breaking bread together.

Peacemaking Lessons Learned at the Yale Building Hope Conference

I just attended the Building Hope Conference at Yale (June 13-22, 2011) -- a strategic international conference of Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious leaders, committed to seeking the common good. So what are some of the major lessons I learned?

Yale Reconciliation Program: Building Hope Conference

Dr. Rick Love, President of Peace Catalyst International, recently consulted for the Yale Reconciliation Program and helped put on the conference titled, "Building Hope: Muslims, Christians and Jews Seeking the Common Good” (June 12-22, 2011). This conference included influential, mid-career Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious leaders with a proven record of leadership and clear future potential. Approximately ten leaders from each faith community were chosen to attend this international gathering focused on seeking the common good. Participants have been carefully chosen by senior leaders in each faith community as representing those mid-career leaders most likely to be exercising the widest influence in their communities in the coming 10-15 years.

Building Hope: Muslims, Christians and Jews Seeking the Common Good

I am writing from Yale University in New Haven, CT where I am preparing for the upcoming Building Hope conference (June 13-22, 2011). I am consulting with the Reconciliation Program directed by Joseph Cumming. The Reconciliation Program is part of Yale’s Center for Faith & Culture, directed by Miroslav Volf.

Uzbek Peace Feast

Tucked into an inconspicuous corner of a Phoenix strip mall, the Golden Valley Restaurant has that wonderful, familiar, inviting feel of somewhere you’ve been before. Maybe it’s the squad of welcoming faces waiting inside the door; maybe it’s the close round-table environment that encourages conversation and new friendships. There aren’t many places one can go nowadays and be served like family on a first visit, but that’s exactly the sort of feeling I experienced 15 minutes into my first visit to Golden Valley.

The Good Somali

What if the incarnation took place in San Diego, in 2011? How would Jesus tell the parable of the Good Samaritan?

Peace Feast: Egypt and Black History Month

What do the recent events in Egypt and Black History month have in common? Other than both being the theme of our last Peace Feast, the main commonality, I believe, is the use of cultural power over political power.

Peace Catalyst Recognizes Religious Peacemakers at Award Dinner

Peace Catalyst recognized a variety of peacemaking religious leaders Thursday night, during the second annual Peacemakers Summit, hosted by Peace Catalyst. Catered by a local Palestinian restaurant, Jerusalem Foods, the event was a celebration of peacemakers faithfully serving their respective communities as artists, academics and community leaders.