VISION, HISTORY, FACTS, AND FIGURES
CIE in brief:
The Center for Interfaith Encounter (CIE) is a 32-month old independent organization working in Central Minnesota. CIE exists for community building primarily in the Five City St. Cloud area through intensive interfaith/intercultural efforts for harmony and peace. Financially speaking, it is currently supported by no funding agency, but solely by Mariani Nazareth and, in little ways, by local people of goodwill.
CIE'S Target - Context of Interfaith Diversity
CIE operates in the St. Cloud area, which is predominantly white Christian, and again, for the most part Catholic and, to a far lesser extent, Lutheran. There are very many other Christian denominations in the area, for example, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Methodist, and Baptist. These religions enjoy minority status. There are various non-Christian religious/ethnic communities which similarly enjoy minority religious and/or cultural and/or ethnic status in the region, for example, Native American, African American, Buddhist, Hmong, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh, Jain, Baha'i, Unitarian Universalist, Confucian, Daoist, Urantia, Unification, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormon, and Wiccan.
CIE and Multifaith Diversity
CIE seeks to bring about understanding among individuals and communities of the various faiths that are practiced here across ethnic and cultural divides. CIE perceives St. Cloud's multifaith diversity to be a vital aspect of the area's existing cultural and ethnic diversity especially since the past fifteen years. Without a break for well over two years now CIE has been focusing on the area's multifaith diversity. Maintaining this focus, CIE has endeavored to bring majority and minority religionists center stage and to facilitate their positive interfaith encounters with all persons of goodwill. Thus, for example, CIE has connected and/or worked with Islamic individuals or families of Malaysian, Indian, Bangla Deshi, Pakistani, Egyptian, Nigerian, Iranian, Kuwaiti, South African, African American, and Somali nationalities.