After nearly 17 years on the road, the Interfaith Amigos are a trio (an imam, a rabbi and a Christian pastor, to be precise) who know quite a bit about America’s religious scene. Based in Seattle, they have given hundreds of presentations to audiences across the United States, as well as Canada, Japan and the Middle East. With a mixture of exhortation, stimulation and humour, they urge people to think differently about religions, their own and that of others.
It started in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, when Rabbi Ted Falcon invited Jamal Rahman, an imam who practices Sufism, to join a Jewish Shabbat service, “because people had to see a different face of Islam.” Then they were joined by the Reverend Don MacKenzie, a Protestant minister, and they became a kind of travelling treble act.
Sometimes they are heckled or challenged aggressively; a bit more often they receive messages of protest after their act. But mostly their message is well received (admittedly from a self-selecting category of people who are open to such things) and Rabbi Falcon says the need they respond to seems more acute than ever.
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