05/03/2022, 16.27
BANGLADESH
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A week dedicated to interfaith dialogue in Rajshahi

by Sumon Corraya

Promoted by the Bishops’ Conference, the event brought together participants from all of the country’s dioceses. “Even though Christians are a minority in this country, we must be strong,” said Archbishop of Dhaka Bejoy D’Cruze. “Interreligious dialogue is an important part of this.”

Rajshahi (AsiaNews) – The Christo Jyoti Pastoral Centre in Rajshahi hosted a national seminar from 25 to 30 April dedicated to “Interreligious dialogue-harmony: the perspective of the Catholic Church” under the auspices of the Commission for Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB).

About 72 Catholics from eight dioceses attended the event. Archbishop Bejoy ‘D’Cruze of Dhaka, missionary of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and president of the Commission, opened the discussion.

“Our Church in Bangladesh is tiny, but it is gradually getting bigger,” he said. “Even though Christians are a minority in this country, we must be strong. Educated people want a secular country, where people of every faith can live in brotherhood. Interreligious dialogue is an important part of this.”

Dipok Akka, a young participant from Rajshahi, also spoke at the seminar from which he said he drew inspiration.

“I should know more about the teachings of other faiths,” he said. “I should show respect for their religious traditions. Instead of arguing, we should listen and show respect for others’ points of view.”

He is convinced that if everyone knew interreligious dialogue well, there would be no conflicts.

Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country where Christians and other religious minorities live in a relationship of brotherhood with many Muslims.

Seminar participants expressed hope that interreligious dialogue will be included in the curricula and textbooks used in colleges as well as madrasas (Islamic schools).

They also hope that Muslims and Hindus could organise more of such seminars so that extremism could be eliminated from the country.

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