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Special edition of Habitat World magazine explores the connection between faith and service

Internationally recognized faith leaders reflect on the role of belief in Habitat for Humanity’s work

ATLANTA (Sept. 7, 2010) – The September edition of Habitat for Humanity International’s flagship publicationHabitat World explores the concept of community service as a common aspect of major faith groups around the world.

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The quarterly publication invited leaders from Protestant, Orthodox Christian, Buddhist and Muslim faiths to provide their perspectives on the role that religious belief often plays in Habitat’s work and similar efforts. The issue also includes an interview with Habitat for Humanity’s most famous volunteers, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, on how faith has led them to build with Habitat for 27 years.

Faith leaders who contributed to the Habitat World issue include Archbishop Vicken Aykazian of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern); Dr. Tony Campolo, founder and president of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education; the Rev. David Emmanuel Goatley, executive secretary-treasurer of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention and coordinator of the African-American Baptist Mission Collaboration; Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama; the Rev. John Ortberg, senior pastor of California’s Menlo Park Presbyterian Church; Eboo Patel, founder and executive director of the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core and a member of U.S. President Barack Obama’s advisory council for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; and the Rev. John Stack, senior minister of South Africa’s Alberton Methodist Church.

“I am personally delighted with the incredible story of hope and transformation that these great faith leaders helped us tell,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “This issue of Habitat World is an exciting opportunity for us to celebrate the central role of faith and people of faith in Habitat’s history and ongoing work. Our hope is that readers will be inspired to take action after reading about the many connections between Habitat, faith and service.”

In the issue, President and Mrs. Carter also reflect on the role that their faith plays in their support of Habitat. In their 27 years of Habitat service, the Carters have built or renovated homes across the United States and in Mexico, Canada, South Africa, Hungary, South Korea, the Philippines, India, Thailand, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The magazine also covers grassroots interfaith volunteer efforts to help build Habitat homes in communities, as Christians, Jews and Muslims come together to promote cooperation among and cultivate understanding of different beliefs.

“Year after year, Habitat volunteers and partner families act on personal belief and help to create decent and affordable housing around the world,” said Shala Carlson, managing editor of Habitat World. “In this special issue, we wanted to capture some of that remarkable collaboration by sharing observations from a diverse group of religious leaders and by featuring examples of faith-based involvement with Habitat.”

The September edition of Habitat World also includes an update on Habitat’s recovery work in the five years since hurricanes Katrina and Rita, a look at Habitat’s work in the United States to help revitalize communities recovering from the home-foreclosure crisis, and Habitat news and profiles from around the world.

Habitat World is the quarterly magazine of Habitat for Humanity International and has 1 million subscribers. It is free to anyone who wishes to receive it. To subscribe to the print edition, e-mail your mailing address to habitatworld@habitat.org; to sign up for Habitat World’s online edition, visit http://www.habitat.org/hw/hwsignup.aspx.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org.