Just a month ago, Tanenbaum hosted a conversation about the dangers of religious persecution and extremism at The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, the only house of worship that was destroyed and rebuilt following the attacks on September 11, 2001.
It’s been 22 years since the collapse of the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan; and though decades have passed, the legacy of September 11th, 2001 is imprinted on the very structure of NYC itself.
During our Religicide book talk with author Dr. Georgette F. Bennett, Tanenbaum’s President and Founder, we challenged the audience to answer a question we work on daily: “What does building respect for religious differences mean?”
As His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, the Archdiocese of the Greek Orthodox Church of America, Rev. Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Andreas Vithoulkas, and Rev. Protopresbyter Nicolas Kazarian reminded us in their remarks, The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church answers that question every day, by opening its restored doors to people of all faiths and backgrounds, allowing unity to overpower hate.
We’re grateful to all who joined us to hear Dr. Bennett draw parallels between her experience as a Jew fleeing persecution in Poland to cases of present-day religious persecution. Our Q&A brought forth topics that feel particularly relevant today, as we highlighted the impact of faith actors, like Tanenbaum’s Peacemakers in Action Network, in addressing harmful propaganda and misinformation to prevent the dehumanization of religious communities. The conversation concluded with a call for the international community to unite in preventing the weaponization of religion that breeds religicide.
Thank you to our incredible sponsors at the Muslim Community Network, New York Board of Rabbis, Interfaith Center of New York, New York City Office of Faith-Based Community Partnerships, International Academy for Multicultural Cooperation, the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, along with others, for holding this conversation with us in a space of such significance.