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    » 10/20/2014, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Christians and Hindus to nurture a "culture of inclusion" against the "globalisation of indifference"



    The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has addressed a message to the world's Hindu community for the festival of Diwali, a celebration that marks the victory of truth over falsehood, light over darkness, life over death, and good over evil. Globalisation has made people more self-absorbed and "accustomed" to the suffering of others.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In its message for the Hindu festival of Diwali, which this year falls on 23 October, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue noted that whilst globalisation has opened up new avenues for development in the world, at the same time, it "has contributed to the fragmentation of society," the spread of materialism and consumerism, making "people more self-absorbed, power-hungry and indifferent to the rights, needs and sufferings of others". In religious matters, relativism and syncretism have grown.

    Faced with increasing discrimination, violence and exclusion, "Nurturing a culture of inclusion becomes a common call and a shared responsibility" that should unite Hindus and Christians to other religions of the world and people of good will.

    Symbolically based on ancient mythology, Diwali represents the victory of truth over falsehood, of light over darkness, of life over death, of good over evil. The celebrations last three days and mark the beginning of a new year, a time for family reconciliation, especially among brothers and sisters, and adoration of the Divine.

    "We wish to reflect with you this year on the theme of 'Fostering together a culture of 'inclusion'," wrote Card Jean-Louis Tauran and Fr Guixot Miguel Ángel Ayuso, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. "In the face of increasing discrimination, violence and exclusion throughout the world, 'nurturing a culture of inclusion' can be rightly seen as one of the most genuine aspirations of people everywhere.

    "It is true that globalisation has opened many new frontiers and provided fresh opportunities to develop, among other things, better educational and healthcare facilities. It has ushered in a greater awareness of democracy and social justice in the world, and our planet has truly become a 'global village' due in large part to modern means of communication and transportation. It can also be said, however, that globalisation has not achieved its primary objective of integrating local peoples into the global community. Rather, globalisation has contributed significantly to many peoples losing their sociocultural, economic and political identities.

    "The negative effects of globalisation have also had an impact on religious communities throughout the world since they are intimately related to surrounding cultures. In fact, globalisation has contributed to the fragmentation of society and to an increase in relativism and syncretism in religious matters, as well as bringing about a privatization of religion. Religious fundamentalism and ethnic, tribal and sectarian violence in different parts of the world today are largely manifestations of the discontent, uncertainty and insecurity among peoples, particularly the poor and marginalized who have been excluded from the benefits of globalisation.

    "The negative consequences of globalisation, such as widespread materialism and consumerism, moreover, have made people more self-absorbed, power-hungry and indifferent to the rights, needs and sufferings of others. This, in the words of Pope Francis, has led to a "'globalisation of indifference' which makes us slowly inured to the suffering of others and closed in on ourselves" (Message for the World Day of Peace, 2014).

    "Such indifference gives rise to a 'culture of exclusion' (cf. Pope Francis, Address to the Apostolic Movement of the Blind and the Little Mission for the Deaf and Mute, 29 March 2014) in which the poor, marginalized and vulnerable are denied their rights, as well as the opportunities and resources that are available to other members of society. They are treated as insignificant, dispensable, burdensome, unnecessary, to be used and even discarded like objects. In various ways, the exploitation of children and women, the neglect of the elderly, sick, differently abled, migrants and refugees, and the persecution of minorities are sure indicators of this culture of exclusion.

    "Nurturing a culture of inclusion thus becomes a common call and a shared responsibility, which must be urgently undertaken. It is a project involving those who care for the health and survival of the human family here on earth and which needs to be carried out amidst, and in spite of, the forces that perpetuate the culture of exclusion."

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    See also

    25/10/2005 VATICAN
    Hindus and Christians in solidarity
    A message from the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue on the occasion of the Festival of Diwali highlights the solidarity that brought together the two religions when the tsunami occurred.

    05/11/2007 VATICAN
    Card. Tauran: a journey of dialogue between Christians and Hindus, in respect of freedom
    In the traditional message for the festival of Diwali. The president of the Pontifical council for inter-religious dialogue writes that believers of different religions must come together to learn more of each other, to grow in respect and to build a world of peace.

    28/10/2013 VATICAN
    Christians and Hindus: fostering human relations through friendship and solidarity
    The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sends a message to the world's Hindus on the feast of Diwali. At a time of growing materialism, when the deepest spiritual and religious values are despised, a "culture of solidarity" should be fostered, one that "requires a common recognition and promotion of the intrinsic dignity of the human person".

    08/11/2012 VATICAN
    Christians and Hindus forming young people to be agents and builders of peace
    Message that the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the occasion of the festival of Diwali. Educating for peace concerns political and social leaders, but also especially religious leaders and media. "In any peace education, cultural differences should certainly be considered as an asset, not a threat or a danger."

    27/08/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: In India, religious and civil authorities must work to stop the violence
    Firm condemnation from Benedict XVI for what is taking place in Orissa, for "every attack on human life". Solidarity with the Christian victims of attacks by Hindus. For the faithful present at the general audience, he drew a portrait of Saint Paul, "tireless apostle of the Gospel".



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