Movie actor Denzel Washington has spoken publicly for a second time about EthicsDaily.com's documentary "Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims."
In a feature story titled "The Faith of Denzel Washington: How the Actor's Beliefs Drive His Film Career" in the March-April issue of RelevantMagazine, Washington recalled watching the documentary late one night after reading to his children.
"I was up 'til 3 in the morning and turned on the TV. As soon as I turned it on, there's this documentary: 'Different Books, Common Word,'" he said.
"It was about Muslims and Baptists in Columbia, Tennessee, and Orange, Texas, and in New Orleans. There was a Baptist minister who was helping poor folk in New Orleans. A group of Muslims opened their stores and fed them when the Baptists ran out of food," said Washington.
"Then there were some Muslims who hooked up with Baptists and went to Baptist churches, and [the] Baptists went to the Middle East with Muslims," he told the bi-monthly Christian magazine written for "culturally savvy, outward-living, spiritually attuned twentysomethings."
Asked how the idea of interfaith dialogue impacts Christians, Washington noted that Islam and Christianity are different religions.
He said their books "say God is love. You have to love and treat your neighbor as yourself, and that's the fundamental lesson."
In January, Washingtonreferred positively to the documentary on "106 and Park," a talk-show on Black Entertainment Television.
The Oscar-winning actor called the hour-long documentary "an interesting show."
"[I]t was about how Muslims and Christians ... how they are getting together. They had very conservative Baptists that went to Muslim countries, and Muslims that were getting together with Christians," he shared. "And they were like, 'Okay, a human being like me. We may have different religious philosophies, but we both believe in the same God.'"
"Different Books, Common Word" aired in January and February on more than 130 ABC-TV stations across the country.
"We are pleased beyond words that our documentary made such a strong impression on a two-time Academy Award winner. The fact that Denzel Washington has spoken twice publicly about it surely says something positive about the film's content and quality," said Robert Parham, executive editor of EthicsDaily.com. "We trust that Baptists will see the same value in the documentary that one of Hollywood's leading actors, who is a Christian, does."
Noting that the documentary is now available on DVD, Parham said that he hoped goodwill Baptists would order the DVD and use it to facilitate interfaith discussions in churches and on college campuses.
The DVD contains the complete documentary as seen on ABC-TV and includes nine extra scenes. A free discussion guide is also available online.
A partial screening of "Different Books, Common Word" will take place at EthicsDaily.com's luncheon at this year's Cooperative Baptist Fellowship general assembly in Charlotte, N.C. To reserve tickets for the June 24 luncheon – which costs only $10 per ticketthis year – click here.