Embrace Foundation
Most Recent Updates
Dr. DeOtis Roberts & Mrs. Roberts, Baptist Theological Seminary
PLEASE NOTE: This Website is Vast! ! ! !
To access all the pages, you must click on the DIRECTORY on the menu.

Embrace Foundation is a non-profit,  
educational foundation set up to  
create better understanding  
between people of different  
religions, cultures, traditions and  
world philosophies.

Embrace Foundation works to bring  
leaders and scholars of world-wide  
religions, cultures and philosophies  
together by sponsoring forums,  
seminars, lectures and developing  
an international exchange program.  
Embrace Foundation is particularly  
concerned with reaching the world  
public through the media.
Embrace Foundation is an all  
volunteer organization. All  
donations go directly to programs.

Embrace Foundation does not and  
has never given permission to any  
outside organization to solicit or  
receive contributions on our behalf.

All donations should be made to  
Embrace Foundation only via  
Paypal or by mail. All donations are  
tax deductible. A receipt will be  
emailed to you. Please click on the  
Pay Pal link below to Donate.
Travel As An Interfaith Act
Embrace encourages all who can  
do so, to learn about other  
traditions and cultures by traveling  
as “Grassroots Diplomats.” We  
hope that people every where  
become life long students of our  
world-wide humanity.

“ In every man there is something  
wherein I may learn of him, and in  
that I am his pupil.”
Embrace Humanity

Great Visions - TV
Guests are: Swami Satchidananda &
the Rt. Reverend Dean Parks Morton
Embrace Archives
Limited Editions Gallery
Umrah - Jordan
Embrace Sacred Places
Monastery of Bahira - Syria
Thank you for making a donation.
Embrace Foundation Archives.Org
NEW! See: TRAVELING  IN CYPRUS in CELEBRATE HUMANITY - FINALLY ! - See: CURRENT The Embrace Founders Travels in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Lebanon & Cyprus  -   IMPORTANT ! See: article of TRAVELING IN TURKEY in CELEBRATE HUMANITY
Go to top of page

20th November 2018

There is a new article and photos from the Embrace Founders trip to Cyprus in CELEBRATE  
HUMANITY. Cyprus has been a troubled area since the 1970's between Greek Cypriots and  
Turkish Cypriots. However, Europeans have flocked to the beaches for decades and now also many  
Russians families.

8th November 2018

FINALLY!!!  Embrace has uploaded the New CURRENT (Summer/ Fall 2018) into the website,  
outlining the Embrace Founders travel in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lebanon and Cyprus. There  
are many, many photos.

This CURRENT runs to two pages, so be certain to click on continue at the bottom of the page.
28th October 2018
Embrace has just put a lengthy article about traveling in Turkey and the situation in the country  
especially regarding SECULARISM & RELIGIOUS CONSERVATISM, young Muslims, the Dervish  
(Sufis) Orders in Turkey and what political and social forces are changing the country.BULLETIN

8 th October 2018

The Embrace Founders have returned from 2 ½ months in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lebanon  
and Cyprus with thousands of photos of sacred places in these countries to put in:
EMBRACE SACRED PLACES. ORG.  It will take quite a few months to edit them all.

Since, the Founders had been to Turkey before. They only photographed new details of the Great  
Mosques, so that more views will be available. 

Among the many Holy Places in Turkey to photograph,  the Founders particularly wanted to Travel  
in the Footsteps of the Apostles and Mother Mary (Miriam - Mother of Isa / Jesus) after the  
death of the Christ.

They also photographed beginning in Sanliurfa the caves of Abraham (Nabi Ibrahim) & Prophet Job  
(Nabi Ayyoub) before traveling along the Mediterranean in Turkey - to the cave of St. Peter  
(Antakya), the archaeological remains of the home and holy well (still with water) of St. Paul in  
Tarsus,(also archaeological excavations & tomb related to Prophet Daniel, (not mentioned in the  
Qu'ran),  The Basilica of St. John where he is buried and the House of Mary (Miriam) in Selcuk.   
Also, the Founders traveled in the Cappadocia region to photograph cave churches where  
Christians lived and hid from the Romans during their time of persecution.  Photographs were also  
taken of three Islamic saints,  usually called Dervishes in Turkey which will be written about later.  
People in other parts of the world call them sufis: Rumi, Haci Bektas Velli and Somunca Baba  
(Sheikh Hamid-I Wali). The Founders visited their old friends of the Jerrahi Dervish Order in Istanbul  
although the people they knew in earlier times; Sheikh Muzzefer Effendi, Sheikh Saffir and Imam  
Hafiz Sedef are now passed on.  They took only a few photos as the Jerrahi’s new location as it was  
being renovated.

Turkey is made-up of a very complex society. It has absorbed over 4 million Syrian refugees whom  
the Founders encountered everywhere (pretty angry with America & the Western nations) One  
elderly woman (Sunni) on a bus told Virginia that 25 members of either her neighborhood or family  
were killed. Anyone  that believes that Sunnis were happy to support the U.S. troops and the  
terrorists they recruited to bomb and blow up Syria, can forget it. There are also Afghan refugees  
that speak Uzbeki and even a few Iranian Kurds who are accepted into general Turkish society.  
Although Kurds are often depicted as only Sunni Muslims, the truth is that there are 11 different  
philosophies / religious affiliations among the Kurdish people.

In Georgia the Founders photographed magnificent ancient churches and enjoyed the energetic  
and friendly monks at the Gelati Monastery. They also were delighted to find a dynamic and very,  
very old Jewish Community in Tbilisi (of Gurjim or Ebraeli Jews) who some scholars believe came to  
Georgia after 586 B.C. in the 6th century. The Founders were welcomed to photograph two  
synagogues with the help of a friendly congregation member who offered to take them also to the  
Beit Rachel Temple (Ashkenazi -the Ashkenazi Jewish community arrived much later in Georgia.)

Lebanon always has a hold on the hearts of the Founders. Probably, because the people have all  
suffered so much and worked so diligently to overcome their divisions. All the people seem to have a  
hard earned wisdom.  Now days you find Muslims living and working along side Christians in  
traditional Christian neighborhoods. But the most rewarding meeting for the Founders in Lebanon  
this time around was their meeting with the Druze, high in the Lebanese mountains where they  
photographed two of the Druze community’s most sacred places.

In Azerbaijan, the Founders were staggered by the incredible urban planning in Baku. Fantastic  
modern architecture next to buildings constructed along classic French lines. Somehow, it works!  A   
Zoroastrian Fire Temple (ancient) that had also been used by Hindus later on was photographed . It  
is still held sacred by current Zoroastrians (called Parsi in India.) You will find quite a number of  
Mumbai Parsi visiting there. The Founders also photographed a sufi shrine of great significance to  
all the Muslims in Azerbaijan, that of Mir Movsum Agha.

In Cyprus,  the Hala Sultan Tekke Islamic Shrine and the Ayia Napa Greek Orthodox Monastery &  
Church where a sacred icon of the Virgin Mary exists were photographed.

NOTE AMERICAN’S: No country where the Founders have traveled in the last 10 years have had  
any thing good to say about America. American’s are seen as bullies and as a terrorist nation that  
has with no provocation chosen to bomb civilians and initiate wars in: Iraq,  Afghanistan, Libya,  
Pakistan, Syria and these are only the public wars. During Obama’s time the U.S. military made  
incursions into 36 different countries (Check Wikipedia)  In fact, Virginia and Ajata met a Christian  
couple from India while traveling on this trip, who said they wanted to move out of India, but they  
wanted to make sure it wasn’t a country the U.S. was going to start bombing(!)

Time to re-think foreign policy. Time to learn some negotiating skills instead of bombing people  
to steal resources and geographic access.

In a few weeks there will he more information, along with photos in CURRENT.
Check your RSS, the Marquee or the Bulletin.

24th May 2018

Embrace has done research on the demographics and ecological status in the Holy Land  
with some additional information on it’s economy. The article is THE DEMOGRAPHIC and  
article peers into the Holy Lands not to distant future.

20th February 2018

Again,we are sorry for the delay - FINALLY! the articles:


with many photos can be accessed from the CELEBRATE HUMANITY main page under  

30 January 2018

There was an oversight in mentioning that Embrace had also uploaded photos of VietNamese  
sacred places under the sections of Confucianism and Taoism.

So in total, sacred places in Viet Nam can be found under the following six categories listed  
alphabetically: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Taoism and Traditional.

Please note: Temples in the city of  Hoi An are often classified as Assembly Halls or Congressional  
Halls of various Chinese coming from different geographical locations. All include temples or places  
to worship within them. In Penang, Malaysia these same Halls with temples are often called “Clan”  
houses. A “British Colonial” designation.

It is very difficult to label Traditional and Taoist temples. Generally, Vietnamese and Chinese, and  
temples that are a combination of Vietnamese and Chinese influences can be defined by the central  
or largest deity in the temple.  However, generations change, new deities or ancestors are added,  
others lost.  In the case of some writers, who do not actually know the temple they are writing about  
and are not practitioners of the religion or spiritual tradition they are writing about, mislabel these  
sacred places.
In the case of EmbraceSacredPlaces.Org, ancestor temples fall in the category of Traditional,  
as well as temples primarily dedicated to great personages.

Buddhist Temples always have as their central figure either Shakyamuni Buddha or a particular  
Buddha or Kwan Im or Guan Yin (the Goddess of Compassion, known by several names) or by  
Avalokeswara - Avalokiteshvara (the God of Compassion - the male version of Kwan Yin, Guan Yin)  
or in the case of the Tibetans and His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s personal Deity (Chenrezig- the  
name of the God of Compassion in Tibetan.)

Often in Southeast Asia there are many statues of non-philosophical Taoist deities and in temples  
that are still primarily Theravada, there are often statues of Arhats. In general, Arhats have achieved  
self-realization but have not achieved the status of a “Buddha.”  (There are numerous Buddhas in  
numerous worlds.)

There is an exception to the previous description of Buddhist temples we have given and that  
exception is in Sikkim. The bringer of Buddhism to Sikkim, Nepal, Tibet was Padmasambava and he  
has been attributed with many miraculous powers. He is particularly loved by the Nyingma and  
Kagyu Tibetan traditions and there are Buddhist temples that seem pretty much dedicated to only  
him usually showing him conducting his many miracles throughout the temples.

In general, so that no misunderstandings arise, Buddhists (especially trained monks, nuns, geshes  
and so forth of all schools of Buddhism)  usually concentrate on the good qualities or aspects of a  
Buddha or deity which represents (generosity, courage, compassion etc.) to gain insight into that  
quality and make it their own. It is not considered worship. However, this is often not the case for  
devout lay Buddhists.

Some Buddhists, such as the famous Thich Nhat Hanh from Viet Nam now living in France,  
emphasize “Mindfulness” meditation which is a strong discipline to keep track of all your thoughts  
and to try to eliminate negative, harmful patterns of thinking. His teachings have a very wide  
audience among Westerners many who consider themselves non-religious, as well as people  
brought up in Buddhism. It is a practice that can benefit people of all persuasions, just as Hatha  
Yoga is practiced by people of many different religions.

The most difficult temples to label are Taoist. That is because most Taoist temples are combined  
with traditional beliefs. The philosophy of Taoism given to the world by a man we call Lao Tzu and  
the later disciples of his philosophy does not provide for worship (like Confucianism.) Philosophical  
Taoism of the original Taoism is not widespread in Asia. (The Tao Te Ching the original book of  
philosophical Taoism is very popular, however, in the West.)

Some people will say that if the Jade Emperor is in a temple, then it is Taoist. As a non-  
philosophical Taoism, of course it must be considered as such. But it is a form of Taoism pretty  
much unrelated to the philosophy of Lao Tzu, Chu’ang Tzu and others of the philosophical school.

There is little confusion with Confucianism (Kong Zi), which is a philosophy and whose very ancient  
temple in Hanoi is called “Temple of Literature.” Devotional people still leave gifts to statues of  
Confucius and some of his scholars. It is a sign of respect and honor. However, as we have noted  
before, a Confucius statue might be found in a temple incorporating the Buddha, non-philosophical  
Taoist deities and/or ancestors and other. Traditional, revered persons.

The optimism and exuberance of some modern Chinese and Vietnamese temples incorporating  
mixed traditions are a joy to visit and their innovative designs and bright colors are uplifting to  
photograph. The monks and people are often very proud of their temples and make a visit to them  
by outsiders a wonderful experience. History is important but new traditions are finding their place  
of importance also.

The Embrace Editors are currently working editing and labeling photos taken in Hong Kong City,  
Cheung Chau Island and Kowloon.

28 January 2018

Finally!!!  We’ve uploaded all the photos of sacred places from the Founders trip to Viet Nam into  
Embrace Sacred Places. Org. Photos of spiritual places in Viet Nam will be found under:  
Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Traditional.

It took an exceedingly long time and we want to apologize to our friends in Viet Nam for the delay.  In  
Viet Nam more photos were taken of different sacred locations than have ever been taken on any  
trip to a single country. In addition, we had an issue with editing them from several cameras and  
finding a few locations that were misfiled.
Our intentions in photographing the details and architecture of locations is for people’s enjoyment  
but more importantly, for a record - to refer to, should the need arise. On this same trip the  
Founders were in Bali and Java and since being there and taking many photos, there have been  
several earthquakes near important spiritual places This was one area Embrace has been really  
concerned about.

For those who know the EmbraceSacredPlaces..Org website, you will remember that shortly after  
our trip to Syria, photographing many spiritual sites, a war left precious architecture and Holy  
sites decimated, civilians dead and destruction of many innocent peoples lives. This has been the  
case in several countries.

2nd Nov. 2017

The Embrace editors have completed “Traveling in Kashmir” (India) - July and August 2017 under  
CELEBRATE HUMANITY on the Menu. Learn about the Kashmiri people and some of the  
challenges they face, as well as, some suggestions for improving the situation.

31st October 2017

See: New article on collusion between Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the CIA to destabilize Syria  
under SYRIA on the menu.

See: New! Finally!!! Photos of Java’s Spiritual & Religious places under Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam  
and Traditional (Chinese - encompassing Buddhism, Taoism, Traditional) in Embrace Sacred  

24 September 2017

Embrace has just updated the most recent travels of its’ Founders in July and August to CURRENT  
They went to Kashmir, Ladakh, India (which have been under heavy military control for some years  
now) to revisit old friends in the Sufi, Islamic and Buddhist communities who were among those who  
gave Embrace a great deal of support at the very beginning of its’ conception in India in 1982.  

Ajata and Virginia also were finally and joyously able to follow in the footsteps of some of the great  
Dravadin Siddhas in Tamil Nadu.

Many photos are included and articles will be forthcoming in CELEBRATE HUMANITY with regard  
to: (Please be patient. We will notify by RSS, the Marquee & this BULLETIN when they are ready.)


We have added all Bali temples into the EmbraceSacredPlaces.Org website under Hinduism &  
Interfaith (as one temple has both Hindu and Buddhist sacred shrines)

26th June 2017

Once again Embrace has another call for the “witness” of thousands of atrocities committed against  
Palestinian Human Rights in the Holy Land. The vicious Holy Land government arrests people  
without charges or a trial merely because they (even women and minors) write blogs on the  
internet that the government deems a threat. (This is a paranoid government that is threatened by  
just about every thing.).

Now the call for action comes from the coalition of all Christian organizations in Palestine asking  the  
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES to do what is right.

The Holy Land government forces the Best and Brightest among Palestinians to starve themselves  
to death -  demonstrating to the world the constant crimes against all humanity that this government  

If the Holy Land government continues it’s cruelty and malice it will soon be dubbed permanently by  
the majority of religious leaders from around the world as the “The Hate State.”

It is hardly any wonder that the vast majority of countries around the world do not want to do  
business with it.

The Embrace Founders do not support in any way or approve of political states that define  
themselves as: Buddhist states, Christian states, Hindu states, Jewish states or Muslim  
states. We absolutely reject any concept that one citizen is superior to another by virtue of their  
culture, race, sect, class, caste, clan, tribe or religious, philosophical or spiritual belief.

See; Human Rights Update and Protecting Human Rights

(For further information about Embrace and some of its’ Rabbis, Rebs - See: FOCUS)

10th June 2017

The Embrace Editors have finally (!) completed Traveling in Singapore 2017 for the CELEBRATE  
HUMANITY section of our website with 25 photos of architecture, botanical gardens and sacred  
places. This time with Churches, the major Synagogue and the largest Mosque.  Explore, learn and  
have fun.

11th May 2017

The Embrace Editors have just added Traveling in Viet Nam and Traveling in Hong Kong 2017  
in CELEBRATE HUMANITY with 25 recent photos in each section and information about traveling  
in these countries that you will not get in travel books.

20th April 2017

See the new Traveling in Bali 2017 & Traveling in Java 2017 in CELEBRATE HUMANITY with  
information and 25 photos in each section that can not be found in travel books.

15th April 2017

The Embrace Founders have returned from their three and one half month trip to Indonesia: Bali and  
Java, Viet Nam, Hong Kong and once more to Singapore visiting religious leaders, scholars and  
photographing sacred places and sacred events.  See: Photos and details of the people and places  
they visited in CURRENT

The CURRENT section has been getting so long, we’ve decided to put the enormous amount of  
information regarding traveling in these locations (including a 2017 update on Singapore) in  
CELEBRATE HUMANITY. There are extensive individual pages for CELEBRATE HUMANITY -

Traveling in Bali 2017,
Traveling Java- 2017,
Traveling in Viet Nam 2017,
Traveling in Hong Kong 2017
Traveling in Singapore 2017

Each section has 20-25 photos included. These photos are usually ones dealing with people and  
events and illustrate the lifestyle of people and are not found in the Embrace Sacred Places  
website & registry. The CELEBRATE HUMANITY section is meant to cover aspects of traveling in  
these countries that are not usually covered in travel books.

In a few months we should have the thousands of photos edited and categorized and uploaded by  
country, region and/ or city, village in EMBRACESACREDPLACES.ORG.  Every major trip the  
Founders take, they average well over 7,000 or so photos. Fortunately, the photos are divided  
between several cameras but it adds to the editing confusion.

Embrace Foundation Retreat Center
.Foundation (skype messaging)    -    011+1+212.675.4500 (New York)

Click to Email Us