By Anand Mathew
Bangalore: The 13th World Fellowship of World Religious Councils (WIFRC) concluded on April 21 with delegates from various religions celebrating the diversity of faiths and religious traditions.
Around 200 people from all over India representing Bahai, Buddhisht, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian faiths conducted a series of symposiums and panel discussions on the theme “Accept, respect and celebrate diversity” during the three-day assembly at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram in Bengaluru, southern India.
The assembly ended with a resolution to start Harmony Clubs in various schools to give peace education to children and to promote celebration of diversities.
WFIRC president Swami Sadashivananda from Coimbatore, in his presidential address,said that the delegates believed in the element of innate goodness existing in all human beings. “It flourishes when people of all religions, castes and creeds come together to celebrate each other’s faith and festivals,” he added.
WFIRC general secretary, Carmelite Father Roby Kannanchira welcomed the delegates saying the assembly’s focus was to take a personal and collective resolution to celebrate the faith of the other without losing one’s won, uphold one’s religion without hurting others and appreciate the differences without giving one’s uniqueness.
Dr. K.P. Fabian, who was former ambassador in various countries, narrated from his experience of living with people of diverse religious backgrounds. “There are no inter-religious conflicts, there are no conflict of civilizations, but the disharmony we see today is due to conflicts and clashes in the minds of some people who have partisan interests and who dehumanize the world using religions and civilizations.”
Somen Baby, an industrialist in Behrin quoting the Holy Bible appealed to the delegates to become light to the world by works of love and thus the world will see the good works and glorify God.
A Harmony Walk organized on the first evening was inaugurated by Yeduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the 27th Maharaja of Mysore who walked all along as the delegates stopped at different places marked for each faith community. Religious leaders appreciated the goodness in each of these religions and prayed for all faiths. They gathered in the chapel of Dharmaram to pray for and with the Christian community.
Sopanam, a renowned cultural troupe from Kerala, staged a cultural program on the second day. A solo drama ‘Antaryami’ gave a spiritual insight into life, based on four anecdotes written by Rabindranath Tagore. It artistically portrayed man’s earning for the divine and God’s constant accompaniment of man within his inner conscience.
The assembly also paid homage to Carmelite Father Albert Nambiaparambil, founder of WFIRC who died last year.