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‘A Common Word’ in the News

Hindus applaud Christian-Muslim dialogue at Vatican, calling it “step in the right direction”

Hindus
have lauded the groundbreaking three-day dialogue between Catholics and
Muslims, which concluded at Vatican City on Thursday, and called it a
“step in the right direction”.

 

Acclaimed
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said
that it was wonderful to watch the world’s two major religions coming
together and opening a new chapter of understanding, trust,
cooperation, mutual respect, and love, and highlighting the common
ground.

 

Zed,
who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that the
concluding joint declaration of both the groups contained some
commendable ideas like honoring
human life, respecting human dignity, ensuring equality among men and
women, right to practice religion, respect for religious minorities,
recognition of pluralism, becoming instruments of love and harmony,
renouncing violence, work for an ethical financial system, informing youth about other religions, etc.

 

Zed
further said that Pope Benedict should invite world Hindu leaders for a
similar dialogue sometime next year, as Hinduism was the oldest and
third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers.

 

Rajan
Zed pointed out that serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the
need of the hour. Religion was the most powerful, complex and
far-reaching force in our society, so we must take it seriously. And we
all knew that religion comprised much more than our own particular
tradition/experience, Zed stressed.

 

After
intensive deliberations, this proposed meeting of Catholic-Hindu
leaders should come up with a concrete plan about the common religious
concerns like human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility,
social & economic development, etc. Maybe this gathering could
become an annual feature after that, he added.

 

Rajan
Zed further says that in our shared pursuit for the truth, we can learn
from one another and thus can arrive nearer to the truth. This dialogue
may help us vanquish the stereotypes, prejudices, caricatures, etc.,
passed on to us from previous generations. As dialogue brings us
reciprocal enrichment, we shall be spiritually richer than before the
contact.

 

His Holiness Pope Benedictus XVI heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Moksha (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.

 

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