New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - An “exemplary seminar of reciprocal understanding and cooperation among believers of different religions to inspire all men and women of goodwill to overcome cultural barriers and build a better society” was how M. D. Thomas, secretary of the Indian Bishops’ Commission for Interreligious Dialogue described a recent meeting of Christians and Muslims in New Delhi .
In two days of reflection and discussion Christian and Muslims experts, scholars and academics identified common initiatives to promote the growth and prosperity of India. They agreed on the fundamental role of education and that Catholics and Muslims should join efforts in this field while not neglecting the poorest sectors of the population .
Appreciating everything that was said Archbishop Vincent Concessao, of New Delhi stressed that unity in diversity was a milestone of Indian culture, and that it is a sacred duty for all believers to work to preserve unity in diversity. He also stressed the importance of “dialogue of life” among believers when the other person is seen not only as another believer but as a brother”. Bishop George Punnakottil of Kothamangalam head of the Bishops’ Commission for Interreligious Dialogue said “Christian anthropological vision is the basis for interreligious dialogue”.
In his intervention Muslim leader Wahiduddin Khan said “early Christian communities were models of harmonious community life for all Muslims”. Actualising the message he offered the assembly an open question: “Can we be examples of harmony for others?”. Jesuit Fr. Paul Jackson underlined that the country would benefit from good relations between Christians and Muslims. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 5/10/2005 righe 25 parole 259)