Waitangi (Fides Service) - Final preparations are being made for a Conference on Inter-religious dialogue in Asia and the Pacific to be held in Waitangi, New Zealand, 29 to 31 May. The Conference, organised with the help of the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and the Philippines, will bring together prominent leaders of all the religious confessions present in Asia and the Pacific region: Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity (various denominations), Islam, Shintoism, Taoism and animist religions. The title of the Conference is: “Building Bridges: 3rd Asian-Pacific Inter-religious Conference” and the purpose is to promote good relations between the different religious communities and leaders in the area and discuss how religions can contribute to social progress with regard to security, education, peace. Participants will include inter-religious delegations from ASEAN countries (Association of South East Asian Nations) and the Pacific area such as Salomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea.
The organisers underline the necessity of dialogue among peoples, cultures and religions in a context of pluralism which is more than tolerance and promotes friendship between cultures and between religions, in a spirit of authentic understanding and goodwill. At the conference the leaders will reaffirm that authentic religion promotes social harmony and a world of justice and brotherhood. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 24/5/2007 righe 24 parole 246)