Coexist was founded in 2006 in the United Kingdom. The organization formed as a direct response to heightening tensions between religious and cultural groups across the world, as evidenced by a 2002 Gallup Poll of the Islamic world. As a result of the poll, Elgawhary says, “people got to see what opinions the Muslim world had of the outside world and the West, and also what people in Western countries thought of the Muslim world. There was a glaring disconnect of understanding and perceptions between the two.”
The one thing that saddens me more than anything else is all the killing around the world that is done in the name of God. Not only do people get stuck in their current view of God but they are ready to kill those who have a different view. I have become totally convinced that absolutely none of us have a lock on God. We all cling to our own religious documents as proof that we worship the only true god. When others disagree with us it far too often leads to conflict and death.
I have become very aligned with the ideas of the Coexist foundation. If only all of us could agree to disagree about spiritual things we would make the world much closer to what God probably wants. But that won’t happen within the hierarchies of our existing religious institutions. They are simply too engrained in their own rhetoric to be open to the possibility that they might not have it totally right about everything. The idea of coexisting with other religious beliefs must happen at the grass roots level. It must be a ground swell that simply overwhelms our ever present religious establishment biases.
Religions to me are more about their self convinced truths than they are about God. Surely deep in our hearts none of us really believe that God will utterly reject for eternity the vast majority of his human creation in favor of our very narrowly focused beliefs of him? Because of all this inter-religious strife I am currently very spiritual but not very religious and I think there are many others out there with the same mentality as me. As a matter of fact I believe that this is the primary reason that so many are currently leaving many church organization today or not even joining them in the first place.
When we die we just might come to learn that God loves all of us. Let’s all pledge to simply coexist with each other and wait for God to tell us his truths if he ever cares to do that….