From the mosque at ground zero to Palestine, from Afghanistan to Indonesia, from abortion activists to suicide bombers, the need of religious liberty cries out. Scarcely any country in today’s world is free of intolerance. Israel and Palestine, Northern Ireland, Sudan, the Balkans, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Denmark, and the Caucasus are just some of the areas where we find conflict apparently inspired by religious differences. Can a sincere Jew, Christian, or Muslim remain true to their own fundamental beliefs, yet also find a path to liberty and tolerance?
In this vitally important book, fifteen influential practitioners of the Abrahamic religions address religious liberty and tolerance from their own faith traditions. Former president Jimmy Carter, Rabbi and activist Arik Ascherman, Indonesia’s first democratically elected president, Abdurrahman Wahid, and thirteen others draw on their personal experiences and on the sacred writings that are central in their own religious lives. Rather than relying on “pure reason,” as secularists might prefer, each contributor finds within their own tradition a way toward mutual peace, uncompromised liberty, and principled tolerance. Offering a counterbalance to incendiary religious leaders who cite Holy Writ to justify intolerance and even violence, the contributors reveal how respect and compassion for believers in other faiths stand at the core of the Abrahamic traditions.