A roundtable with Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists to sow the seeds of peace in the Diocese of Sylhet
by Sumon Corraya

The Interreligious Dialogue Commission sponsored the initiative centred on "An open heart brings peace and harmony", At least 200 religious leaders participated. "People create divisions,” said one Muslim participant, “but we have all been created by the one God”.

Sylhet (AsiaNews) – The Interreligious Dialogue Commission of the Diocese of Sylhet, in north-eastern Bangladesh, recently organised a roundtable to "build a peaceful nation".

The Diocesan Office invited Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist leaders to the event. At least 200 people came.

The meeting’s explicit aim was to make leaders understand that it is necessary to work together to build a country of peace. The theme of the event was "An open heart brings peace and harmony".

Sanghanando Thero, head of the Sylhet Buddho Bihar Buddhist monastery, fully embraces the purpose of the meeting.

"If everyone worked with a positive mindset, they would succeed,” he said. “That's why we should use the heart properly.”

“As a mother saves her child by giving him life, we too should save all the animals of the earth,” he explained. “If various religious leaders sit around a table to discuss, I believe that many problems would be solved."

Other leaders expressed similar views, including Nasir Ullaha, a Muslim and a former additional magistrate in Sylhet district.

"People create divisions,” he said, “but we have all been created by the one God. If we can stop divisions, conflicts, we can create a society in which harmony remains."

For Shami Chandranathananda, a Hindu and the director of the Sylhet Ramkrishno Mission and Ashrom, "Whoever does not believe in God cannot be considered pious. We must believe that God is present in everything. All faiths remind us to open our hearts. Envy destroys man. So, we first have to correct ourselves ".

"All human beings are equal and identical,” noted Mgr Bejoy D'Cruze, bishop of Sylhet, and sponsor of the event. “There is no difference in the man who is hungry, thirsty, who feels happiness or pain. Human beings are superior: this is true. This is the axiom of peace and harmony."

"We should all love our neighbours,” he said in concluding. “We must not look at others only from the outside, but also from within. We live next door but not together. We must overcome evil through good. All religious leaders must work to establish peace on earth."

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