» 10/20/2014, 00.00
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.
(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.
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.
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
"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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