To Understand and Act: The Importance of Interfaith Dialogue

By: Joseph Birko, Communications Intern

– joseph.intern@niagarafoundation.org

With the recent tragedies in Europe, Syria and other attacks throughout the Middle East, the relationship between people of different faiths have had their fair share of hostility, especially with the Syrians migrating to Europe. However, it is important to remember that within these times, high tensions and distrust, there is a growing number of people who still believe that coexistence is the only way to promote and establish peace. With that in mind, religious leaders from different faiths have come together to promote their ideas of peace and coexistence to ensure that future generations pick up the ideas of faith within humanity.

The meeting was held in Italy and it was led by Pope Francis. Regarding the purpose of this group effort, their appeal concerns, “…to oppose every form of violence and abuse of religion which seeks to justify war and terrorism.” (Huffington Post) This in turn, gives the message of peace a more humanistic approach due to the fact that these religious leaders not only recognize that all people with faith have flaws, but also recognize that no religion is superior to the others because of those flaws of those practicers. This creates a sense of equality and more importantly, responsibility when deciding on how to create dialogues between people of different faiths. I believe this is the right step in creating more meaningful relationships between people because it forces others to views past the stereotype that is attached to their religion and focus on the individual and their own personal beliefs.

Regarding the importance of responsibility, the summit also forces the world to take more of a proactive approach to the situations relating. Pope Francis delves into this stating, “…they encounter the deafening silence of indifference, the selfishness of those annoyed at being pestered, the coldness of those who silence their cry for help…” (Huffington Post) Essentially, this summit is not only a meeting of establishing relationships, but also spreading the message of being responsible for one’s actions.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pope-francis-world-religious-leaders-make-impassioned-plea-against-terrorism_us_57e2ac8fe4b0e80b1b9f83c2?utm_hp_ref=interfaith

The views and opinions expressed on The Falls are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Niagara Foundation, its staff, other authors, members, partners, or sponsors.