The Naperville Interfaith Leaders Association (NILA) held a solidarity event on Sunday, October 22nd at Benedictine University’s Goodwin Hall. The event was organized as a reaction to recent events that sparked hatred, violence, and intolerance towards groups from certain religious backgrounds. Leaders of several faith groups shared their stories and perspective on the importance of interfaith dialogue, respect, and understanding.
Community members speak out against hatred
NILA invited civic leaders and representatives from many different faith traditions to speak out against hatred and intolerance. Speakers included: Tom Cordaro from Pax Christi Illinois, retired Justice and Outreach Minister at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Parish, Rev. Lynn Pries, current president of NILA and retired United Methodist pastor, Naperville City Council Member Dr. Benny White, Sharan Kaur Singh, a representative from the Sikh community, Rabbi David Eber of Congregation Beth Shalom in Naperville, Congressman Bill Foster of the 11th district of Illinois, Rev. Megan Dean Tobola, lead pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church in Naperville, Meena Banasiak, member of the Hindu community, and Imam Rizwan Ali, senior Imam and religious director of the Islamic Center of Naperville. The musical interlude and opening song were performed by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
What is NILA?
The Naperville Interfaith Leaders Association (NILA) consists of many leaders in the Naperville community from various religious backgrounds. The group aims to hold important conversations to engage, connect, and advocate for common concerns. The religious traditions represented in NILA include Protestant and Catholic Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Baha’i, Hindu, Buddhist, and Humanist. The group aims to educate themselves on various religious traditions with the common goal of creating an atmosphere of understanding, respect, and inclusion.
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