Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Message to Hindus for Diwali. Religion fundamentally inspires us to see in the other a brother to support and to love and, moreover, "teaches us to respect the inviolable dignity and the inalienable rights of others without any unjustified prejudice against their beliefs or culture”.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "living in a spirit of fraternity and fellowship through constant dialogue should be a natural corollary of being a religious person, Hindu or Christian". The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue writes this in its message to the Hindus on the Diwali festival.
Known as Deepavali or "row of oil lamps" and symbolically founded on an ancient mythology, it represents the victory of truth over lies, light over darkness, life over death, good over evil. The actual celebration lasts three days and marks the beginning of a new year, family reconciliation. This year the festival will be celebrated by many Hindus on October 27th.
In the message - signed by the president, Card. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., and of the secretary, Msgr. Indunil Kodithuwakku Janakaratne Kankanamalage - on the theme "Believers: builders of fraternity and peaceful coexistence", states that "alongside the experience of unprecedented advancement in many fields, we live at a time when, on the one hand, efforts are being made towards interreligious and intercultural dialogue, cooperation and fraternal solidarity. On the other hand, there is apathy, indifference and even hatred among some religious people towards others. This is often caused by a failure to recognize the ‘other’ as a brother or sister. Such an attitude can arise from misguided, ungenerous or unsympathetic sentiments, which upset and unsettle the very fabric of harmonious coexistence in society. It is with concern about this situation that we deem it fitting and beneficial to share with you some thoughts on the need for every individual, particularly Christians and Hindus, to be builders of fraternity and peaceful coexistence wherever they are”.
Religion, the document continues, fundamentally inspires us to see in the other a brother to be supported and loved and, moreover, "teaches us, moreover, to respect the inviolable dignity and the inalienable rights of others without any unwarranted bias towards their creed or culture. Only when adherents of religions demand of themselves a life consistent with their religious ethic will they be seen to fulfil their role as builders of peace and as witnesses to our shared humanity”. "Therefore, living in a spirit of brotherhood and friendship through constant dialogue is a natural corollary of being a religious Hindu or Christian person".
"It is a happy coincidence that the beginning of this month marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, “an outstanding and courageous witness to truth, love and nonviolence” (Pope John Paul II, Prayer for Peace at the Conclusion of the Visit to Raj Ghat, Delhi, 1 February 1986) and a valiant protagonist of human fraternity and peaceful coexistence. We would do well to draw inspiration from his example in living peaceful coexistence".
"As believers grounded in our own religious convictions and with shared concern for the welfare of the human family, may we join hands with those of different religious traditions and all people of good will, and strive to do all we can – with a sense of shared responsibility – to build a more fraternal and peaceful society!".