Pacifica Institute Sunnyvale Branch organized Interfaith Conversation event on Saturday, May 4, 2013 with Reverend Ben Daniel. Pastor Daniel is Presbyterian minister in San Jose, California and is the author of The Search for Truth about Islam: A Christian Pastor Separates Fact from Fiction. The event has brought more than 100 community members from different backgrounds together.
The theme was the Keys to the Kingdom: Muslim and Christians Keeping Peace. Pastor Daniel read from the first chapter of his book which highlighted his travels to Jerusalem and his visit with the Muslim custodian and door keeper of Christianity’s most important shrine, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Several different Christians sects claim ownership of the building, and their mutual animosity might have destroyed the shrine except that for well over a thousand years a Muslim family has kept the keys to the church’s massive doors and has kept peace between the Church’s various claimants.
Pastor Daniel believes the work of the church of the Holy Sepulcher’s Muslim door keepers provides a positive model for relationships between Muslims and Christians that is an alternative to prevailing narratives of inevitable conflict and fear.