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CTV News names Muslims and Christians local heroes


Mennonite Barb Martens, a former refugee resettlement worker, and Muslim Abdelkader Tayebi, a University of Windsor professor at the Waging Peace screening at United Mennonite Educational Institute in Leamington, Ont

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David Imrie (right) of CTV News of Southwestern Ontario interviews Leon Kehl (left), who appeared in Waging Peace and coordinated the film tour, and Rick Cober Bauman, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee Ontario.

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Mennonite Church Canada/MennoMedia joint release
February 29, 2012
-Steve Shenk

WATERLOO, Ont.— CTV News of Southwestern Ontario named Mennonites and Muslims “local heroes” on its Feb. 15 broadcast covering a recent tour of MennoMedia’s new documentary, Waging Peace: Muslim and Christian Alternatives. In addition to interviews with Muslim and Mennonite leaders, the news report showed Mennonites and Muslims kneeling to pray at the Islamic Centre of Cambridge.
Seven hundred people in nine churches, mosques, and other sites in Ontario viewed the documentary, Feb. 12-19.  Filmmaker Burton Buller, formerly of Winnipeg, Man., used stories and interviews to show how people are overcoming interfaith mistrust, hatred, and violence.

Several of the stories in Waging Peace took place in Ontario—refugee sponsorships involving churches and mosques in partnership, interfaith breakfast meetings, and Muslim students at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate.

Accompanying the film was Sheri Hartzler, director of electronic media for MennoMedia and the project’s executive producer. Most screenings were followed by discussions led by a multi-faith panel, including people who participated in the film project. Cookies, tea and coffee, and extended conversations often ended the events.

“It was a privilege to come to Ontario and to meet Muslims and Christians alike who are passionate about the importance of interfaith dialogue and action,” said Hartzler, who works at MennoMedia’s office in Harrisonburg, Va.

Waging Peace was screened at Conrad Grebel University College, the Turkish Cultural Center in Toronto, the Islamic Centre of Cambridge, Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, and United Mennonite Educational Institute. It was also shown at four Mennonite churches—Floradale, Vineland United, Toronto United, and Steinmann.  

Leon Kehl, who is involved in refugee sponsorships and interfaith dialogue, coordinated the Waging Peace tour. Screenings were supported by Mennonite Central Committee Ontario, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, Islamic Centre of Cambridge, Intercultural Dialogue Institute, and other local churches and organizations.

The one-hour Waging Peace program, released through the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, aired on over 130 ABC-TV stations last fall and will air on NBC stations, at their discretion, during a six-month period beginning Apr. 29.

The documentary is ideal for Sunday school class discussions and congregational small groups. It can be purchased on DVD for $27.95 by going to or calling 800-631-6535. A study guide is available at the website.

MennoMedia is the publishing/production ministry of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.