Religious Thanksgiving - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Religious Thanksgiving


MADISON (WKOW) -- Clergy from the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths say kids hold the future of religious tolerance.

They began their bond by singing a song about unity -- more than 50 kids from the Madison area -- who may inherit the ideas and traditions of their respective faiths. Religious leaders say there's never been a more important time for Muslims, Jews, and Christians to talk honestly.

"Especially in a climate as it is right now," said Rohany Nayan, Interfaith dialogue leader. "America is at war. For us Muslims, it's been quite difficult for our children to stand up and say 'i'm a Muslim.'"

"I think adults have more preconceived ideas. I think politics comes into play," said Deborah Martin, Interfaith dialogue leader. "It's easier for children to relate to each other one on one."

They were encouraged to ask questions, and walked through a photographic maze, depicting the day to day life of people following the religions that began with Abraham.

"I learned about Shabbat," said student Zach Lottes. "It's a Jewish holy day from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown -- just like Sundays and Christianity."

Then they treated their taste buds to Christmas cookies, Jewish challah, and Muslim samosa.

"If we have one thing in common, it's that we all need to eat, we all connect over mealtime," said Pastor Katie Baardseth of Midvale Lutheran Community Church.

Leaders hope the kids will network and continue a peaceful dialogue in the future.

"I think it could definitely change some people's opinions and points of view, and make adults realize how much we're all alike, and pass it down to future generations," said student Stefanie Ballesta.

Student Abdullah Syed said, "We know that everyone's a person in the world, and that everyone can do what they need to. It's only fair."

The exhibit runs through November 28th at Edgewood College.

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