Hindus term Pope’s reaching out to Muslims “step in right direction”

Hindus have commended His Holiness Pope Francis for his call to Christians and Muslims to work together to promote mutual respect at the end of his Angelus address on August 11 in Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square, greeting Muslims as “our brothers”.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, called it a “step in right direction”.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that it was wonderful to watch the Pope, largest religious leader the world with about 1.2 billion adherents, reaching out to Muslims, who form the second largest religion in the world after Christianity, to open new chapter of cooperation.

Rajan Zed urged Pope to invite the leaders of major religions of the world for an interfaith summit and dialogue so that all the religions could work together to make this world a better place.

Zed pointed out that serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour. Religion was the most powerful, complex and far-reaching force in our society, so we must take it seriously. And we all knew that religion comprised much more than our own particular tradition/experience, Zed stressed.

Rajan Zed further said that after intensive deliberations, this proposed interfaith summit should come up with a concrete plan about the common religious concerns like human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social & economic development, etc. Maybe this gathering could become an annual feature after that, he added.

Zed stresses that in our shared pursuit for the truth; we can learn from one another and thus can arrive nearer to the truth. This dialogue may help us vanquish the stereotypes, prejudices, caricatures, etc., passed on to us from previous generations. As dialogue brings us reciprocal enrichment, we shall be spiritually richer than before the contact.

Pope Francis heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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