A friendly visit and conversation over tea between members of different faiths can help break down barriers.
That’s what brought Bushra Shahid and Ashley Yaqoob to Salem Heights, the Dayton central house of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, on Feb. 25. Shahid and Yaqoob are members of the Fazle Umar Mosque in Dayton. The sisters offered a tour of the house and some nice interaction.
“It’s one way of learning to be accepting and getting information from those who are practicing the religion,” said Sister Madonna Ratermann. “I think any time you can build relationships and a positive impression of people that is a good thing. To get a better understand of other religions is always good.”
Bearing gifts of flowers and candy, the Muslim women chatted with the Sisters about common interests and how the two faith communities can continue to work together. Shahid explained that she is active with an interfaith group of women who meet monthly to learn more about each other’s religions. She invited the Sisters to participate in future meetings.
“By using an interfaith group our goal is to bring together women who are passionate about their own religion and would like to talk about their faith with different people,” Shahid said. “It’s a community outreach. It helps us understand our neighbor.”
The visit was a follow up to a program on refugee resettlement hosted by the Sisters in January.
Story and photo by Dave Eck