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June 16, 2003 ELCA News Service
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'Understanding Islam' Theme of Summer 2003 MOSAIC


Chicago (ELCA)-JAC* — The summer 2003 issue of MOSAIC, the video magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) focuses on Islam, its history and its relationship with the ELCA.

The 30-minute program includes information on the Prophet Mohammed, the rise of Islam and the five pillars of Islam. Also included in the program are visits to two mosques located in the United States and interviews with Islamic scholars and Christian theologians.

The theme of the program originated because of growing interest in Islam, said Timothy Frakes, associate director for interpretation, ELCA Department for Communication, and MOSAIC producer. "There is a lot of interest in Islam today, particularly following September 11," he said. "Lutherans are finding that their neighbors are Muslim."

According to Frakes, many Lutherans are interested in understanding Islam because of an increasing number of Muslim immigrants and because of Lutheran World Federation (LWF) work being done in the Middle East. The LWF is a global communion of 136 Lutheran churches in 76 countries, and consists of 62 million members.

Included in the program are interviews with the Rev. Harold S. Vogelaar, resident scholar of world religions, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; Ghulam Haider Aasi, professor of Islamic studies, American Islamic College; and the Rev. Bonnie L. Jensen, executive director, ELCA Division for Global Mission.

Melissa O. Ramirez, associate director for news, ELCA Department for Communication, is host of MOSAIC.

MOSAIC is produced and distributed by the ELCA Department for Communication, and is available in VHS and DVD formats. It is intended for educational use in a variety of congregational settings including Sunday School classes, adult forums, youth groups, women's and men's groups, new member classes, church council meetings, committee meetings and other organizational meetings.

MOSAIC is broadcast Sundays at 10 p.m. Eastern Time on direct broadcast satellite through Dominion Sky Angel on the Faith TV Network, available through most cable satellite providers. Some ELCA colleges and universities carry MOSAIC on local cable channels.

Each issue included a user's guide, with a synopsis of each segment and discussion questions. MOSAIC is issued quarterly. Annual subscriptions are available through the ELCA Department for Communication.

*Jessica A. Crane is completing her bachelor of arts degree at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn. This summer she is an intern with ELCA News and Media production.