Film screening and interfaith program on religion in prison is Feb. 17 at SJU

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February 3, 2014

The film "Pentecostalism in the Prisons of Rio" will be screened at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, in room AV-1 of Alcuin Library at Saint John's University.

Following the film, which documents the work of Minnesotan Andrew Johnson on why Pentecostalism thrives among inmate populations in Rio de Janeiro, prison chaplains Damon Drake, Robert A. Klanderud and Rabbi Lynn Liberman will participate with Johnson in a panel discussion on the role of religion inside prisons in Minnesota and elsewhere.

The program is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning in collaboration with Intercultural and International Student Services and the Department of Sociology of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.

Johnson, who earned his doctorate in sociology at the University of Minnesota, teaches sociology at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and is a research associate for the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. He recently served as a visiting fellow for the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University.

Drake, the former outreach director for the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is a member of the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiatives Committee and is a volunteer teacher of Islamic studies at various facilities of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Klanderud, of Dakota and Lakota heritage, served for eight years with the Division of Indian Work, in partnership with the Minneapolis Council of Churches, in a mentorship program for incarcerated men and in also the chaplaincy program of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, caring for prisoners in Hennepin, Stearns, Steele and Anoka counties.

Liberman is a resident chaplain in Clinical Pastoral Education at Abbot Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, an on-call chaplain at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, and a volunteer chaplain for the Mendota Heights and West St. Paul police and fire departments and at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee.