On Tuesday, September 14, 2010, Wiccan minister Rev Patrick McCollum received the Mahatma Ghandi Award for the Advancement of Religious Pluralism from the Hindu American Foundation (HAF). The award was presented during the seventh annual Capitol Hill reception sponsored by HAF. This year’s reception was held in the Gold Room of the US Congress Rayburn Building. Patrick was one of four award recipients. Neal Katyal, Acting Solicitor General of the United States received the Pride of Community Award. Community activist Vishal Agarwal received the Dharma Seva Award. US Congressman Edward R. Royce (Republican, Orange, California) received the Friend of the Community Award.
“Patrick is not only the first Pagan to receive this award, but the first Pagan to receive an international interfaith advancement award. This is an important milestone in Pagan interfaith relations,” said Rev. Selena Fox, Senior Minister, Circle Sanctuary. “I am glad that Patrick and his work to build bridges of understanding and collaboration among those of many faiths was honored.”
In his remarks upon receiving the award, Patrick expressed appreciation for this recognition, and also spoke about the importance of respecting diversity and sacredness of human beings. “We are all part of the human family and we must learn to respect each other and live in harmony.”
David Salisbury from the Pagan Newswire Collective’s Washington DC bureau will be at tonight’s Lady Liberty League 25th Anniversary Reception, where Mr. McCollum is also to be honored, so please check out their site for full coverage. Additionally, The Wild Hunt is providing more information on this event throughout today and tomorrow.