Bethesda Dedicates Interfaith Center
Naval Support Activity Bethesda recently dedicated an “interfaith” room to support the religious activities of the troops who spend time in the many organizations hosted in the local area:
Some of the programs planned for the Interfaith Center are Monday Mass Catholic worship, “Worship on Wednesdays” Protestant service, Buddhist Worship and prayers, Muslim daily prayers, and Bible study groups, among other uses.
US Navy Chaplain (CAPT) Roosevelt Brown, the chief chaplain at the local Belvoir Community Hospital, specifically praised the decision to call it an “interfaith” room:
I’m very glad that you called it an Interfaith center. It’s important to say that it’s not dedicated just for one group. It really is open to all.
Except Chaplain Brown just gave the description of a multi-faith center, not an interfaith center. There are many multi-faith facilities within the US military, largely due to a lack of space and resources limiting the ability of organizations to provide each faith group a dedicated facility. But there are no real “interfaith” centers — or locations designed to “encourage cooperation or interaction” among faiths. That’s not the military’s purpose.
As an aside, it is worth asking the question: Would you worship in a multi- or inter-faith facility? Christians who visit the sites of other religions often describe the presence of darkness — of evil — there.
As a Christian, can you worship God in the same place used to worship other gods?