SALEM (CBS) — Leaders, representatives, and volunteers from a diverse group of faiths gathered together for the first Multi-Faith Festival in Salem Sunday.

“It is time for people of different faiths to come together, to learn about each other, to build bridges,” said Rabbi Alison Adler of Temple B’Nai Abraham. “That’s why our congregation is taking part in the Multi-Faith Festival.”

More than a dozen houses of worship participated in the educational celebration focused on religious freedom and peace.

“The goal is to learn, understand and educate each other. People are curious by nature,” said Fawaz Abusharkh from the Islamic Society of the North Shore.

Different music groups, kids activities, food venues, and prayer sessions were a part of the event.

“We keep on hearing about Islamaphobia and anti-semanticism and we keep on hearing about other slurs in our neighborhoods and tensions in our neighborhoods. This is an opportunity for us, as religious groups, to say ‘we really need to come together,'” said Rev. Joseph Amico of the Tabernacle Church.

After a year of planning, organizers thought now would be a good time for the festival, given recent events.

“With what’s going on around the world, it’s a good thing we plan something for all religions, all people get together and show everybody we can co-exist,” said Abusharkh.

Organizers hope other communities will be inspired to hold similar events.


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