Faith In The Gulf: Report (2008)

Religious faith has always been a powerful force in American life. Writing in the early eighth century, French chronicler Alexis de Tocqueville observed that American civilization "is the result ... of two distinct elements, which in other places have been in frequent disagreement, but which the Americans have succeeded in incorporating to some extent one with the other and combining admirably. I allude to the spirit of religion and the spirit of liberty." In a sense, the spirit of religion is closely related to the spirit of liberty in the United States, which after all is a nation founded by people seeking refuge from religious persecution.

In the South and the rest of the country, the spirit of faith has often served as the conscience of the nation and a catalyst for change. In 1775, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) established the first anti-slavery society in America ; later, evangelicals and the various other Protestant denominations involved in the religious revival movement of the early r9th century expanded the faith-based fight against slavery. 40 In the 195os and 196os, historically black churches in the South— community institutions largely beyond the reach of Jim Crow —served as centers for the civil rights movement. They sometimes found allies in people of other faiths. In more recent decades, faith institutions of all colors and denominations have joined with human-rights groups and other nongovernmental organizations to urge debt relief for poor nations, making progress in advancing the cause in Washington...

Contents:

  • 2  Forewords
  • 4  Faith and Katrina by the Numbers
  • 6  Executive Summary
  • 7  Introduction
  • 8  Refuge from the Storm: Faith Leadership in Katrina Relief and Recovery
  • 15  Faith in the Future: Rebuilding and the Spirit of Renewal in the Gulf
  • 22  Contact Information for Organizations Mentioned in the Report
  • 25  Sources

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