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Welcoming People with Disabilities into Religion

7/9/2009 4:06:44 PM

Tags: Spirituality, religion, disability, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly

Wheelchair User in Front of StairsHospitality, a tradition ingrained in most religions, is not always extended to people with disabilities. Disabled people can sometimes feel unwelcome inside of churches, mosques and synagogues. “Too often faith communities sanctify prejudices in the community rather than challenge them,” Reverend Bill Gaventa told Religion & Ethics Newsweekly. He added, “It shouldn’t be easier to get into a bar than a church.”

The article profiles a few religious institutions that are actively welcoming people with disabilities. Describing his synagogue, Rabbi Dan Grossman said, “We have a reputation that we are a special needs community, when in fact that probably only makes up a small percentage of the active community in the synagogue. I think it defines the synagogue because it simply doesn’t happen elsewhere.”

Source: Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Image by Elessar, licensed under Creative Commons.

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