As the global coronavirus pandemic closed borders and reduced mobility, many people became confined to their homes with less interaction. The Interfaith Digital Caravan —launched shortly after the outbreak of COVID-19—was an initiative of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue Leaders Network, a global community of 120+ religious and lay members committed to promoting interreligious dialogue and understanding.
The idea of the Interfaith Digital Caravan came from the recognition that religion, culture, and spirituality are bridges that can unite human beings across differences. Furthermore, technology can connect millions of people and advance human development and inspire the search for higher meaning in the lives of people. From this standpoint, the Interfaith Digital Caravan was launched as a creative approach to the COVID-19 crisis.
At the core of the project is the concept of using interreligious dialogue and culture as a tool for social cohesion and for strengthening solidarity. Through sharing inspiring stories and moments throughout history to detailing best practices and expertise in times of crisis, the JPII Center Leaders hoped to promote the common good and spark hope in some of the most vulnerable communities in our world today.
In a series of online webinars, participants of the Interfaith Digital Caravan met inspiring speakers and lecturers who shared best practices and tips on how to overcome and cope with hardships, with the help of religious traditions and interreligious dialogue.
“Participating in the Interfaith Digital Caravan a few months after the start of the coronavirus pandemic – a time when feelings of despair and isolation were common—gave me a sense of hope and connection, and the opportunity to learn from people of different religions and in different countries” – Emily Judd, Caravan Participant and Russell Berrie Fellow.
- 10 speakers from partnering organizations
- 6 webinars and 2 artistic performances
- 12 JPII Center Leaders engaged
- 400+ views on Vimeo
- 350+ attendees
- 550+ registrations
- 2,300+ likes, shares, comments and posts on social media