Hindus laud Pope's synagogue visit, calling it a "step in the right direction"

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Nevada (US), Dec 30 (ANI): Hindus have applauded Pope Benedict XVI's proposed historic visit to Great Synagogue of Rome on January 17, calling it a "step in the right direction".

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commenting on the proposed visit, said that it was wonderful to watch the world's two major religions coming together and opening a new chapter of understanding.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, 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.

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.

Zed urged Pope Benedict to visit a Hindu temple also in the near future to promote mutual understanding and respect between the faiths.

Pope Benedict has already visited synagogues in Cologne (Germany) and New York (USA). Completed in 1904 on the banks of Tiber, the Great Synagogue of Rome (Tempio Maggiore di Roma) is the largest synagogue in Rome. Jewish community of Rome reportedly goes back to the second century BCE.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Judaism is a monotheistic religion of world's about 14 million Jews whose most sacred text is Torah. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal. (ANI)

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