interfaith dialogue is one of the great challenges of the globalization era, a time when the most diverse cultures meet. Whereas, peace between nations values respect between the different cultures and religions existing in the world.
In view of this, theologians and specialists in human behavior have been calling the attention of society as a whole to this issue. Since the dialogue between the different religious currents is fundamental for the future of humanity.
The concept of interfaith dialogue
The exchange between the different religions existing in the world. According to him, this contact seeks to understand the different ways of discerning God’s grace in people’s hearts.
The importance of interfaith dialogue
It is clear that technological advances are making it easier to communicate and exchange information. In this way, it increasingly exposes cultural differences around the world. This event has shown the need for actions to promote peaceful interaction between people in modern society.
Therefore, the establishment of interfaith dialogue is of great importance. It can contribute to the promotion of peace, justice and respect for human rights . After all, it is able to provide the opportunity for healthy debates aimed at protecting the planet, peace and the common good.
The risks of lack of interfaith dialogue
Even in Brazil, where the Federal Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of conscience and belief, people are still victims of religious prejudice. And this religious intolerance is mainly due to the lack of knowledge about the belief of the other.
We emphasize that this dialogue should not be used to try to convert the other to a certain religion. Furthermore, it should not promote the dissemination of a belief or serve as an approximation for the formation of a new religion.
The main objective
It is important that representatives of different religions work together to promote mutual knowledge. In this way, it will be easier to achieve the main objective of interfaith dialogue, which is to avoid conflicts by understanding differences and accepting the other as he is.
By getting to know other religions better, people end up realizing that in addition to the differences, there are similarities between most beliefs. We can cite as an example the faith in a single God and the incentive to do good that are preached by different religions.
A friendly contact between practitioners of various religious currents can avoid and even resolve conflicts, minimizing several common problems in today’s society. After all, the union in favor of what is best for humanity and the planet can mean our survival on Earth.
How to promote interfaith dialogue
Acceptance and recognition of the value of religious diversity are challenges to be overcome in order to carry out this dialogue. For this to happen, the interlocutors need to be aware of their limits and their vulnerability as human beings.
That way, it will be easier for us to open ourselves up to hear and understand ideas that are different from ours. This attitude can enrich us as human beings, in addition to complementing our understanding of the divine in us.
Anyway, as the popular saying goes: it’s talking that we understand each other! Therefore, each of us must encourage all forms of dialogue, including inter-religious dialogue.
For this, it is necessary to experience this custom in our communities and work to disseminate it throughout society.
What is the difference between ecumenism and interfaith dialogue?
Often, the term “ecumenical act” is used to designate events that bring together people of different religions, motivated by a common interest, such as the search for peace and solidarity among peoples or to express their positions in the face of an event in society. However, it is important to distinguish between ecumenical and inter-religious events, as well as other political, social or cultural manifestations in which representatives of different organizations of society participate, including religious leaders.
The term “ecumenical” has its origin in the Latin word oecumenicus , which means “general, universal”, and, in turn, comes from the Greek oikumenikos , which means “inhabited world”. For this reason, for example, that the councils of the Catholic Church are called ecumenical, as they bring together Catholic bishops from around the world. The word “ecumenism” is used for the movement in favor of the unity of Christians historically marked by divisions that broke the full communion with each other.
Although this word is sometimes applied to designate dialogue between different religions, ecumenism cannot be confused with interfaith dialogue, which concerns the relationship between members of different religious traditions, not exclusively Christian, such as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, religions of African origin, among others.
Interfaith dialogue does not consist in the search for unity of faith among the different religious traditions, but in the desire to understand and respect the differences of these traditions in a fraternal coexistence in view of the common good of society.