Diversity Thrives in the Birthplace of Religious Freedom
In 1657, the farmers of Flushing courageously stood up for our freedom of conscience (telling Governor Stuyvesant that the “law of love, peace and liberty in the states extend[s] to Jews, Turks and Egyptians”). Since then, religious freedom has become a bedrock of our society and we have all benefited from this legacy of peaceful coexistence. Flushing, now has the highest concentration of religious from around the world — Sikhs, Baptists, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Quakers, and dozens of other faiths have figured out how to live together side by side.
Please join the Flushing Interfaith Council on Saturday, October 19, 1:00pm, as we celebrate our religious diversity during our annual Queens Interfaith Unity Walk! We will gather at St. George’s Church on Main Street and 38th Avenue in downtown Flushing, NY 11354.
You are invited – meet your neighbors!
Flushing Interfaith Council
Annual Interfaith Unity Walk
Saturday, October 19, 1:00pm
People of all faiths will gather to walk together in the most religiously diverse neighborhood in America during the Annual Queens Interfaith Unity Walk on Saturday, October 19, 1-4pm, to visit the many different houses of worship in Queens and learn about the faith of their neighbors. The Unity Walk will start 1:00pm at historic Saint George’s Church, located at 135-32 38th Avenue in downtown Flushing, Queens.
“The relevance and importance of our Unity Walk stems from the rising number of hate crimes in our society. In a divided world of ‘us’ vs. ‘them,’ the very notion of ‘other’ needs to be shattered if we are to prevent future acts of bigotry,” stated Harpreet Singh Wahan of the Sikh Center of New York. “Our Unity Walk recognizes all humanity as one – ‘Let there be no strangers’ – through respect and mutual coexistence, we can ensure a better and safer world for all of us.”
The Queens Interfaith Unity Walk arose in response to post-9/11 challenges and developed from a model in Brooklyn called “Children of Abraham Peace Walk,” which has been bringing churches, mosques, and synagogues together for more than a decade. The Queens event includes non-Abrahamic religious groups as well as a number of faiths reflecting the incredibly diverse cultures of Flushing.
“Though I look forward to this event every year, it is not only a ‘feel good’ event. Queens is highly diverse and has experienced some tensions and violence targeting that diversity,” stated Adem Carroll of the Muslim Progressive Traditionalist Alliance. “We all need to show our solidarity and I hope the people of Queens will come and walk the Walk with us.”
In addition to St. George’s Church, participants will visit the Sikh Center of New York at 38-17 Parsons Boulevard, the Muslim Center of New York at 13764 Geranium Ave, and Temple Gates of Prayer at 3820 Parsons Blvd. The Unity Walk will conclude at the Hindu Temple Society at 45-57 Bowne Street with light refreshments. At each stop, members of the respective faith will highlight important religious beliefs and traditions.
The Queens Interfaith Unity Walk is sponsored by the Flushing Interfaith Council, which includes the Flushing Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, the Bahá’í Community of Queens, the Free Synagogue of Flushing, the Hindu Temple Society of North America, the Muslim Progressive Traditionalist Alliance, Pax Christi Queens, the Sikh Center of New York, the Eckankar Community of Queens, and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens. For more information about the Flushing Interfaith Council, please visit flushinginterfaithcouncil.wordpress.com.
The Flushing Interfaith Council works to help build and foster understanding and common ground among various faith traditions in our community. For the past eight years, participants of the Interfaith Unity Walk have gathered and walked in the neighborhoods of Flushing, Queens, one of the largest and most diverse communities in New York City.
All are welcome!
Co-sponsored by the Free Synagogue of Flushing, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens, the Sikh Center of New York, Flushing Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Muslim Progressive Traditionalist Alliance, Pax Christi Metro New York, Morningside Quaker Meeting, St. George’s Church of Flushing, the Bahá’í Faith Community in Queens, and Eckankar Community of Queens. Endorsed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (New York Chapter), Flushing Jewish Community Council, the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, Queens Counseling Services of the Foundation for Religion and Mental Health, Turning Point for Women and Families, and Women for Afghan Women.
Our goal is to build bridges of love and understanding within our community.
Please join us!
At some houses of worship, all are asked to take off their shoes and women are asked to cover their heads, so wear socks you’d like to be seen in and women are asked to please bring along a scarf.
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