College Students Learn About Religions to Spur Religious Acceptance

Date Posted: 

Monday, February 20, 2017

WDTV - Students at Davis & Elkins College are planning activities to learn about different religions and to accept them. A group of students have come back from a conference all about religious acceptance and now they're ready to learn more right on campus.

Some of the students had never met someone from a religion different from theirs until now.

"We can respect people even if we don't agree," said Emmett Jaeger.

Jaeger is ready to try to understand different religions. He believes discussion about this is so important because diversity is all around us.

"If we don't talk about that then we will get this polarization of 'you're right, you're wrong' without having really good discussion," he continued. "So I think it's important just as a society, putting religion aside, as a society we need to start learning what's most effective about that kind of discussion."

Megan Walters calls the beginning of that discussion on their campus "mind-opening." There isn't much religious diversity where she's from.

"I never met a Jewish person until I came to D&E," she said. "I never met a Muslim person until I came here. And back at home it's kind of sad because people are a little close-minded to people that do have different faiths."

Now that she's had a taste, she wants to learn more.

"I would just like more opportunities for people to learn about different religions and different faiths that we have," Walters said. "And to also give people who are on campus who are kind of in the minority to really practice their faith in a more easier way."

The students say accepting religious differences is very important in today's political climate. To get to the part where you agree to disagree, you have to start with listening and discussion.

"I think it's definitely more important now that we all become more aware, more educated on each others' religious practice," said Abbagayle Peterson.

The students say education is what spurs not just religious tolerance, but religious acceptance.