Religious dialogue to heal mistrust wounds
Reno (USA), Jan 13: Hindu, Christian (both Catholic and Protestant), and Muslim religious leaders of Northwestern Nevada gathered at Reno last Saturday for a dialogue and to arrive at a common agenda to heal the wounds of religious mistrust.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajan Zed, Director of Interfaith Relations of Hindu Temple of Northern Nevada, stated that religious conflicts arise when one claims oneself as "God's exclusive agent", starts comparing the "ideal" version of one's own tradition with the "flawed" reality of other religions, misuses sacred texts through selective reading and interpretation, and declares complete monopoly on the truth.
Zed listed the solutions to resolve mounting religious conflicts as considering each religion as the essential aspect of the Whole; learning to live together with our seriously different traditions; broader, deeper, more inclusive understanding of religion; taking the power of religion seriously; belief that existence of different faiths were positively willed by God as a sign of bountifulness.
Organized by Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno, others who spoke on the occasion included Rev. James Jeffery, Rector Emeritus of Trinity Episcopal Church; Fr. Charles T. Durante, Chairman of Life, Peace, and Justice Commission of Reno Diocese; and Abdul Barghouthi, Imam of Northern Nevada Muslim Center.
The inter-religious gathering arrived at a common resolution, which included seeking unity that celebrates diversity; attempting to overcome prejudices, caricatures, and stereotypes with the help of dialogue; promoting trust, mutual loyalty, culture of tolerance and life of truthfulness; despite our philosophical differences, working for the common objective of human development, love, respect for others, sharing other peoples' suffering, ecological responsibility, and social development.