Monday, July 25, 2005

Building Interfaith Harmony: Learning to Listen

The first Asia-Europe Interfaith Dialogue at the Bali International Convention Center wrapped up Friday, July 22, with the results of the dialogue being formulated in a "Bali Declaration for Building Interfaith Harmony".

The two-day meeting, organized by the Indonesian and British governments, discusses means of promoting interfaith dialogue, barriers to interfaith harmony and the role of education, culture, the media, religion and society in promoting dialogue among the different faiths....

[Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono] maintained that moderation did not mean compromising one's adherence to the fundamentals of one's faith but required a holistic approach to religious teachings, rather than a literal and narrow view, which often led to rigid practices and extreme behavior.

"Moderation means we have to refrain from imposing one's views on others and avoiding the use of violence."

The Indonesian President added that listening to the moderate voices doesn't mean to exclude the extremist religious voices.

"The dialogue should involve groups representing all faiths. Every voice including those from the so-called militant groups should be heard."

The Asia-Europe Interfaith Dialogue is attended by officials, intellectuals, religious leaders and journalists from 39 Asian and European countries.

Iranian Quran News Agency July 23, 2005

Ananuria, Armenia


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