Interfaith dialogue should be relevant to the context of religious plurality that characterises today’s world. It should address the problems, conflicts, and tensions that threaten the harmonious and peaceful coexistence, in an effort to prevent the exploitation of religious sentiments in exacerbating division. In this wise, there are many practical activities which may be taken up as a fruit of interfaith dialogue.
To engage in Interfaith Dialogue means taking responsibilities in dealing with the materialistic culture that prevails in today’s world. It is offering a contribution towards the meaning of existence, life, the world and history.
Conflict – in particular religiously motivated conflict has an overreach of great influence of the mass media.
Interfaith Dialogue – on the other hand – calls for a critical approach to the reductionist, stereotypical, essentialist, and sensationalist portrayal of religious communities, declaring that interaction and the necessity for active cooperation correct the misconceptions conditioned by the media.
Interfaith Dialogue involves collaborating with faith-based organisations to address issues of mutual concern and promoting efforts for the common good. The “Abrahamic Faiths” are those that trace themselves to a common ancestor – in this case, the Abraham of the Hebrew Bible and the Koran, who is seen as the progenitor of three faith systems: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Cooperating Abrahamic interfaith partners work for ending religious discriminations and sentiments.
Interfaith dialogue is seen to be working with interfaith partners to treat each other with compassion and honesty, and to foster an ethical commitment to human values such as pluralism and religious freedom, mutuality and respect.
Interfaith Dialogue partners may also engage in practical action: working with interfaith partners to find solution to mutually perceived problems, such as ecology, social and moral issues, the value of education, use and abuse of the doctrine of human rights, the exploitation of women, child labour, etc.
- Visiting House of Worship: Visiting house of worships or a religious gathering is an important practice faith leaders can utilise to promote interfaith dialogue between the Abrahamic faith communities. Faith leaders may encourage interfaith visits and to share some of spiritual experiences. Visiting house of worship will be definitely effective if considering the following:
- Learning more about rituals and practices from guest or host faith.
- Showing respect to others’ practices without compromising own faith and believes.
- Showing appropriate respect to each other and avoiding being rude.
- Examining moral attitudes and religious principles of the Abrahamic faiths.
- Examining underlying causes of issues that pose a challenge to humanity and addressing or finding solutions to their deleterious effects by invoking the shared moral foundations of Abrahamic religions.
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