Our primary aim in religion is to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians, principally by supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations. We seek to ensure that congregations have a steady stream of wise, faithful and well-prepared leaders. We also support efforts that help Christians draw on the wisdom of their theological traditions as they strive to understand and respond to contemporary challenges and live their faith more fully. In addition, we work to foster public understanding about religion and help lift up in fair and accurate ways the contributions that people of diverse religious faiths make to our greater civic well-being.

Deeply influenced by Gandhi, Theologian Howard Thurman served as a key mentor to many civil rights leaders in shaping the struggle as a nonviolent movement and used religious expression to help ignite sweeping social change.
Through partial support by Lilly Endowment, Director Martin Doblmeier released a new documentary, "Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story," this past February on public television. This documentary is part of the Prophetic Voices film series that will profile the life, thought and influence of four 20th century religious leaders.
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