Understanding Religious and Cultural Identities in Iowa

Jun 7, 2016

Iowa is becoming more diverse with time. While 77 percent of Iowans identify as Christian, nearly a quarter do not.

On this edition of Talk 0f Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion on religious diversity in Iowa.

She talks with Maeve Callan, associate professor of religion at Simpson College, who gives talks on religious culture in order to humanize religious diversity and to help stop the stigmatization of minority religious groups in the state.

“It’s understandable to fear what you don’t know,” says Callan. “I think what we need to do is understand that we have that reaction, and find the occasions where we can talk to each other… We need to understand from their perspectives instead of just projecting our own assumptions onto them.”

Also joining the program are representatives from a number of different faiths - Gurwinder Singh Kapur, a practicing Sikh, Prakash Kopparapu of the Hindu temple and Cultural Center of Iowa, and Reverend Dave Sickelka, pastor for the Urbandale United Church of Christ.