Interfaith Engagement

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President Obama is dedicated to fostering interfaith dialogue, cooperation and understanding. During his speech in Cairo, The President declared that people in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul.

Promoting Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation:  The State Department recently convened a US-Indonesia Interfaith Conference in Jakarta, called "Building Collaborative Communities: Enhancing Cooperation among People of Different Faiths."  Faith leaders from 8 countries joined leaders from the private sector and civil society to identify and work together on common projects that will have an impact on their communities, including in the areas of poverty eradication, environment, education, and governance.  Follow-up working groups are being planned in South-East Asia, and we will announce the start of another interfaith working group in a different region of the world in the coming months.  Read more about the Jakarta Interfaith Event.

In addition, USAID hosted a "Regional Conference on The Role of Religious Leaders in Advancing Development in Asia," in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in March with participation by at least 70 religious leaders, elected officials, and other select delegates from 14 Asian countries, together with USAID and U.S. representatives from each country. Learn more about the U.S. Sponsors Bangladesh Conference for Religious and Community Leaders on Advancing Development in Asia.

The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships also works to create opportunities for interreligious cooperation. To do this, this Office works with offices and programs throughout the Federal Government, including the National Security Council, Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development and Corporation for National and Community Service to foster dialogue and cooperation at home and around the globe. 

Charitable Giving:  The Treasury Department recognizes and strongly supports the essential role of charitable giving, both at home and abroad, and seeks to encourage charitable giving while also protecting charities from terrorist abuse or exploitation.  Treasury has sought to make charitable giving more seamless in a variety of ways, including: developing partnerships with the charitable sector; issuing guidance; and, conducting outreach.  Please see more information (pdf) on charitable giving.

Remarks by the President

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