Judaism, Christianity, Islam as well as other world religions hold many values and traditions in common but rarely do members of these faiths have meaningful contact with one another. Their interactions are often marked by distrust and hostility, rather than respect for differences and awareness of common values.
The ICI World Pilgrims program is based on the principle that before people of different religions can constructively discuss their differences they need to develop personal relationships with each other. An atmosphere of friendship and trust must be established, before honest and productive dialogue can take place about areas of disagreement. In the end, the goals are not to “convert” one’s religious or political beliefs, but rather to increase empathy and understanding, reduce conflict, and ultimately create opportunities for cooperative action.
Each Pilgrim is expected to:
Each journey has a formal and very intentional structure designed to ensure that all the participants achieve the goals of the pilgrimage. Each participant is asked to commit to this structure so that the shared goals of the journey can be obtained. This means exercising discipline and a willingness to place the interests of the group above that of the individual.
We focus on understanding and acceptance of each other’s faith traditions; discussion rather than debate, respect rather than judgment, empathy rather than criticism. This attitude is particularly important in the highly charged environment of the Middle East. As pilgrims traveling on a common and sacred journey, the participants are expected to share their personal experiences and faith journeys with one another, and to make a commitment to continue their common experience after returning home.