Leaders of the Children of Abraham Coalition actively strive to be ambassadors for interfaith dialogue and advance relationships between different faith traditions. That’s why their latest venture took them to the Illinois Holocaust Museum, whose mission not only remembers Holocaust victims, but teaches universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference.
Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, founder of the COAC, proposed partnering with the museum in hosting a unique workshop: Resisting Faith-Based Bigotry.
The event gave high school teachers and religious community workers ways of proactively training middle and high school students to resist hate and build interfaith peacemaking skills.
Fr. Corey and the COAC leaders actively participated in the discussion and workshop, drawing from their own experiences as well as those they hear from young participants at their annual middle school peace camps.
Nora Flanagan, an English teacher and author of “Confronting White Nationalism in Schools” also participated. Just last fall, members of the Children of Abraham Coalition presented Flanagan with its Courage of Abraham Award, for her activism.
Museum officials regularly present programs aimed at giving guests the tools to stand against hatred in all its forms.
“Recent tragic events and formal studies show that antisemitism, Islamophobia and white nationalism is on the rise in our nation,” museum officials said, “as are efforts to recruit young people into hate groups.”
Fr. Corey noticed the same trend when he formed the coalition in 2010. His goal was to have a platform to bring together suburban teens and adults of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths to learn about one another’s shared Abrahamic traditions.
The Children of Abraham Coalition now includes adults and teens — of all faiths — on its board, but young people continue to drive its events.
“”We can’t stop all the religious-based hate in the world, but we can do our part,” Fr. Corey says. “We’re building a different world. Salaam, Shalom, Peace.”