Welcome to Interfaith Strength, a web site devoted to strengthening the bonds of understanding among people of different faiths. This international effort has grown out of Richard Benkin's growing love of and admiration for the Hindu community here in the United States and in South Asia. It also has taken him to heights of genuine interfaith understanding that has helped him similarly appreciate the Sikh community, the Amadiyyas, and others. Here in the West, "interfaith" efforts" are made generally ineffective by two misguided tendencies. The first is for either side to abandon issues or principles because they are afraid they might anger the other. Benkin found out the power of that in a conversation with two Muslim Fundamentalists (not radicals) one afternoon in a Muslim country some years back. Things began tense and proceeded with one point after another of disagreement. But it was only when they "agreed to disagree" without demonizing each other that they were able to find true points of similarity. The second problem is that when we speak of "interfaith" efforts, we tend to think only of the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). What a terrible mistake! Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, for instance, are the third, fourth, and seventh largest religions in the world. We need to correct our omission and include those other faiths, most facing the same threat as the others. This web site is intended as a cyber gathering place for individuals worldwide who believe that a key to peace is understanding and respect—that is far more than tolerance—among people of different faiths; and that Interfaithstrength.com will attract people and organizations that disagree with those who say religion is the root of most conflict. In fact, religion, faith will lead us along the path toward peace. It is not religion that causes conflict, but the politicization of religion for transient ends. Richard Benkin also hopes that Interfaith Strength becomes a place where people struggling for the same principles of interfaith understanding and religious equality can make contact with each other and support one another as they pursue their common goals worldwide. Together with you, Richard Benkin hopes more and more people come to believe that too, and are willing to help others see it as well. To contribute articles or request we link a related web site, click here. Richard Benkin is also available to provide written work, for speaking engagements, and for interviews. (Several pages on this site offer examples of his work.) You can reach him by clicking here.
Thanks to Sarah Benkin for her extensive work in creating and maintaining this web site.