by Jaweed Kaleem
In cities across the nation, increasingly diverse after waves of immigration and demographic changes, it's not uncommon to find Christian, Jewish and Islamic houses of worship located just blocks away from one another.
But in Omaha, Neb., an interfaith organization is taking such a pattern to the next level. Tri-Faith Initiative, a partnership of Christians, Jews and Muslims that aims to foster greater interfaith relations in that Midwestern city, is kicking off a multimillion-dollar effort to bring the three Abrahamic religions onto a single 35-acre campus.
"We thought, let's intentionally choose our neighbors," says Vic Gutman, a spokesman for the Tri-Faith Initiative, which launched five years ago as a grassroots interfaith effort and quickly gained funding and community support among the city's religious leaders. "We want to form a relationship between all Jews, all Muslims and all Christians."
The group, which announced this week that each religious group had closed on land purchase deals for the interfaith campus that total $5 million, will also build a Tri-Faith Center that will have educational and social facilities for use by all the campus' religious groups.
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