This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Welton Gaddy tackles issues that go beyond one faith alone. Veteran Vatican reporter Josephine McKenna evaluates Pope Francis’ visit to Turkey last weekend, during which he condemned violence perpetrated by ISIS and fostered a better relationship between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Though American news media no longer features round-the-clock coverage about Ebola, afflicted West African nations need clean water as much as medical care to help fight the spread of the disease. Living Water International Executive Vice President Malcolm Morris joins Welton to discuss the importance of clean water initiatives in developing countries. But first, Rev. William Barber II returns to the show to discuss race and social justice in the midst of national anger about the lack of indictments following recent killings by police.
A Painful Racial Rift
Following the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless other unarmed black men and boys by white police, few still try to claim we live in a post-racial United States. As nationwide protests continue, Rev. William Barber II, founder of the Moral Monday Movement and head of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, visits the show to talk about more inclusive and effective strategies in the struggle for justice. Rev. Barber shares anecdotes from his new book, Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation, and how Moral Mondays have resulted in the largest acts of peaceful civil disobedience today.
Pope Francis’ Turkey Days
Pope Francis travelled to Turkey during Thanksgiving weekend for prayer and interreligious dialogue. His agenda included leading a joint Mass with Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I at Istanbul’s Holy Spirit Cathedral, calling for peace and justice while condemning ISIS and its violent acts. Josephine McKenna, veteran Vatican reporter for Religion News Service, joins Welton to discuss the significance of the Pope’s efforts to bridge divides between the two Churches and his other religious outreach. Pope Francis has made headlines recently for his other partnership efforts with global faith leaders, including his initiative to end human trafficking
Water for the World
The American news cycle has moved past Ebola, but lack of access to proper sanitation and medical care to affected nations allows the disease to keep spreading. Even without such outbreaks, water-related illnesses kill 2.2 million people per year. Welton sits down with Malcolm Morris, executive vice president of Living Water International and founder of the Living Water Alliance, to talk about the importance of access to clean water and how it can break cycles of disease and poverty. Last year, the Water for the World Act was introduced in the House of Representatives to encourage U.S. foreign policy initiatives to include equal and affordable access to water in developing nations. Malcolm also shares how listeners can support this act and Living Water International.
Where Will We Be Next Week?
Finally, Welton shares his own personal reflections on the continuing tension between law enforcement and communities of color. Next week Welton will invite a number of prominent leaders on this issue to talk about how racial and religious communities have evolved in the struggle for civil rights throughout the years. Before next week’s show, Welton invites listeners to join in the national conversation about race and policing. Join in at facebook.com/stateofbelief, twitter.com/stateofbelief or call the listener line at 202-681-4246.