there seems to be an effort by some individuals and groups to
extend forgiveness and apology to other faith groups for past harm. There also
seems to be an effort to cooperate and promote understanding and peace -- both
within religions and between religions. Perhaps the most remarkable development
in 2007 was a letter: "A Common Word Between Us and You
" issued by Muslim leaders in 43 countries to Christian leaders in the fall
Unfortunately, many in the media give priority to negative and
violent news. They use the criteria: "If it bleeds, it leads." Positive religious news does not sell many
papers or significantly increase the number of viewers of TV news sources. Thus,
events of this type are rarely
reported in depth by the media; sometimes they are not reported at all.
The result is that religiously motivated violence saturates
the airwaves, newspapers, and the Internet. Voices of moderation and cooperation
are often heard. Many of the public conclude that some religions are inherently
violent and have little regard for human rights.
We will assemble brief reports on such outreaches, starting in