Religious conflict is the great global challenge of the 21st century. America is the most religiously diverse country in the world and the most religiously devout nation in the West. President-elect Obama has an opportunity to translate this religious diversity into a pluralism that strengthens American civil society, transforms American diplomacy, and contributes to global stability. The Obama administration must bridge America's religious communities by supporting and increasing interfaith service initiatives.
Eboo Patel is founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit that promotes interfaith cooperation. His blog, The Faith Divide, explores what drives faiths apart and what brings them together. He is also author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation (Beacon Press, 2007).