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Bringing faiths together through music

More than a century ago, missionaries discovered that singing biblical psalms set to indigenous melodies produced mass conversions among the persecuted Punjabis of what is now Pakistan. The Rev. Eric Sarwar, a Presbyterian clergyman who founded a church in a squatter community outside Karachi, began an annual psalm festival in the early 1990s as a way to recover the nearly lost Punjabi tradition of bathing believers in psalmody. To his surprise, his religious music festivals attracted Muslim musicians, opening new opportunities for cross-faith cooperation and understanding. The story is chronicled in an article written by Joan Huyser-Honig for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, a site devoted to renewing worship in Christian faith communities. Discussion questions, additional information and study resources are included.

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