Christians and Taoists: To the fire of conflict let us oppose a candle of peace and harmony

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Christians and Taoists: To the fire of conflict let us oppose a candle of peace and harmonyHong Kong (AsiaNews) - The Final Declaration of the Third Christian-Taoist Colloquium held these days in Hong Kong promoted together with all six religious communities present in the metropolis. The secretary of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, Msgr Indunil Kodithuwakku Kankanamalage: "A moment of profound openness and mutual listening. Meeting opens our eyes to others'.

"In our era, in which societies are often marked by conflict and division, our meeting aimed to convey a message to our polarized world: through respectful and constructive dialogue, we can put out the fire of conflict and of violence and light a candle of peace and harmony".

This is what the participants of the Third Christian-Taoist Colloquium, held in Hong Kong from 11 to 13 March on the theme "Cultivating harmonious societies through interreligious dialogue", wrote in the final Declaration. The initiative is part of a journey that began in 2016 in Taiwan and continued in 2018 in Singapore.

"This third meeting had been postponed due to the pandemic and, together with Christians and Taoists, it was promoted by the leaders of all six religious communities present in Hong Kong", the secretary of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, Msgr. Indunil Kodithuwakku Kankanamalage, explains to AsiaNews.. “The meeting was a great success, everyone was very happy: there was a spirit of openness and mutual listening”.

"Our aim - the prelate continues - was to promote interreligious dialogue, not political issues. This conversation served to deepen our friendship with religious leaders and improve mutual understanding. We invited Taoists from other countries and even of Singapore: this allowed us to open our eyes to others."

“We are more convinced than ever of the need to continue talking, walking and working together,” the participants write in the Final Declaration, putting three words at the center of attention. First of all, the size of the meeting.

“Our dialogue - they explain - helped us to encounter the sacred mystery of the other through the knowledge of our respective religious writings, rituals, ethics, the figures of saints and wise men. Both our religions, in their own way, seek to calm the restlessness of the human heart. Therefore, in the face of the inexpressible divine mystery, we must be open and humble, broadening our mind and our heart."

The second key word proposed is awaken. “Our religious heritages – they write – can prove significant if we awaken the spiritual energy in our followers to cultivate a harmonious society. To this end, we must recover compassion, justice, simplicity, solidarity and generosity."

Finally, cooperate: "Through charitable and educational activities - the text concludes - we can collaborate to build bridges, break down walls and sow seeds of love, respect and hope".

By Nirmala Carvalho