Mahatma Gandhi was deeply influenced by Christ: Minister

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Kochi, Dec 15 (UNI) Declaring that Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of 'ahimsa' was inspired by the teachings of Jesus Christ, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today said only love and not hatred, can solve the problems in society.

Addressing a public meeting here to mark the opening of the new CSI Immanuel Church building and centenary of the old building, Mr Patil said ''Mahatma Gandhi used to read the 'Bhagwad Geeta' and the 'Bible' and his concept of 'ahimsa' came from love, which he learnt from Christ''.

Stating God was not the exclusive property of any one section of society, he said people should learn to think of God not in a physical form but as energy enshrined in a physical form.

''If there is a holistic approach to religion or spirituality, then there will be no hatred, quarrels or bloodshed between the different sections of the society,'' he said.

Stating that the country could do with more churches, temples and Mosques, he said these places imparted the knowledge of life to people.

''A temple, a church or a Mosque does not belong to any one section. Everyone can go there and pray to God and think of the higher philosophy of life'', he said.

Earlier, K P Kuruvilla, Bishop, North Kerala Diocese, stressed on the intimate relationship between the Church and the state and added both needed to work together for the welfare of humanity and to transform the world into 'a Brahmaloka or a Rama Rajya'.

He said the new CSI Immanuel Church building would be able to house 1,000 devotees at a time. The cross at the front with an elevation of 110 ft would be visible to seafarers sailing into the Kochi port.

Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishanan, Leader of the Opposition in state Assembly Oommen Chandy, Metropolitan, Marathoma Church, Dr Joseph Marathoma and MLA K V Thomas were also present on the occasion.

UNI

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