ASIA/PAKISTAN - Hyderabad Catholic Culture Centre builds interreligious dialogue
Hyderabad (Fides Service) - Joty Educational and Cultural Centre for education and intereligious dialogue aims to build good relations with Muslims, marginalise all forms of integralism and violence and promote social harmony. The Centre in Hyderabad is directed by Fr. Anjou Soures. “joty” means light and the Centre aims to enlighten minds and defend the values of pluralism, dialogue, tolerance, respect and solidarity. Fr. Soures organises seminars, conferences and meeting in schools and parishes, assisted by NGOs. He works with young people, Christians and Muslims and the aim is build a sense of brotherhood.
The Centre receives funds from various organisations including Aid to the Church in Need. It was opened 12 years ago in a small apartment in Hyderabad. Today it has its own building with classrooms, a hall for prayer and meditation and a refectory.
“It is important, particularly since the terrorist attacks in the United States and more recently in London, to promote interreligious contact here in Pakistan in order to build a culture of peace. We try to talk about this need with young Muslims but many parents fear we want to convert their children. But this idea is mistaken. We want only to build reciprocal respect and esteem for the good of all”.
At the Centre the approach used is to present the themes and challenges of religion applied to social and existential contexts, reflectin on the consequences for personal life and encouraging tolerance towards those who are different. “We start with daily life - the priest explained- and later we come to God”. Recent seminars focussed on “New humanism, new society” and “Religion in society”, talks included the sensitive issue of women’s education and rights. Fr. Soures is reaping fruit with his work in the area of Hyderabad and feels encouraged to continue on this path.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/9/2005 righe 27 parole 271)
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