World Day News/Media

World Day Committee Members Participate in the Interfaith Round Table

World Day's Planning Committee members, Rabbi Hillel Athias-Robles, Mr. Kul Chandra Gautam, Mr. Jagannath Kandel Dr. Linda King and Prof. Anantanand Rambachan participated as panelists in the Round Table "Potentials and Pitfalls in Interfaith Dialogue for and with Children" held on 13 October in Chiba, Japan. Rev. Dr. Hans Ucko shared introductory remarks and Dr. Heidi Hadsell facilitated the panel discussion. The round table was held in conjunction of the 60th Anniversary of Myochikai, a Japanese Buddhist organization and the 20th Anniversary of the Arigatou International. 

The Round Table yield a report on potentials and possible pitfalls different religious communities may encounter in the interfaith dialogue concerning children. 

Summary of Potentials and Pitfalls of inter-faith dialogue

Potentials

  • Strengthens one’s own faith
  • Is a vehicle to organise joint work with other faith groups and organisations
  • Is a vehicle for developing a society where there is respect and tolerance, cooperation and social action
  • Reflects the multifaith nature of our cities
  • Can lead to shared concern and to motivated actions
  • Helps us prepare children for the future and a future world for children
  • Provides the opportunity to focus specifically on children
  • Provides opportunity to learn from and learn about sacred texts that relate to children
  • Provides opportunity to embrace diversity
  • Has the potential to create spaces for healing and reconciliation in conflict areas
  • Allows us to share common values and common issues
  • Allows us to be different and our differences to be respected
  • Has the potential to shift the mindset of the young, helping them to understand that despite the differences in culture, ethnicity and religions, we are one humanity
  • Contributes to the shared security of all, basically that we all share and we all depend on each other

 Pitfalls

  • Sometimes expectations of dialogue cannot be achieved. Interreligious cooperation is  not an ambulance (to be called in moments of crisis)
  • In inter-faith dialogue there are invisible participants on all sides, some with open wounds, and some with old wounds.
  • There may be suspicions of a hidden agenda
  • Inter-faith dialogue without action is meaningless
  • Non faith based organisations may assume values that are contrary to faith values
  • Inter-faith dialogue may not be a panacea for all that is wrong in our world
  • Inter-faith dialogue must consider cultural differences as potential obstacles
  • Some adults can be self righteous, preventing progress
  • Some secular organisations base their actions on human rights, which may clash with some religious traditions having as a foundational perspective, which is less on rights and more on responsibilities
  • Inter-faith dialogue must seriously consider the impact of religions at times being associated with violence and extremism

Click here to read full article and report on Arigatou International's website.