The times today calls for mankind’s harmony despite the threats that menace society today. we all hope and want to work for unity among believers of different religions, and for universal brotherhood among the earth’s peoples.
Interreligious dialogue is part of the Church’s evangelization mission that aims to realize this hope for unity today. Its intention is to help the faithful of different religions to build harmony and peace, understand each other better, work together in favor of humanity, and be united in responding to God’s call in a common search for truth. It is a dialogue founded on openness and the reciprocal exchange of gifts.
To facilitate all these goals, the golden Rule put into practice serves as the foundation for interreligious dialogue. Here is the most important guideline that all religions have in common – it involves speaking and listening, as well as giving and receiving for mutual enrichment and development. “doing unto others what you want others to do unto you” paves the way to a dialogue that gives witness to one’s faith and, at the same time, is open to that of others. It is not a betrayal of the church’s mission nor is it a new method of proselytism to Christianity.
We must build bridges and break down prejudices and barriers. thus, “respect” is the key word in dialogue.
To engage in dialogue, we must know our own religion well, and also be informed about that of our dialogue partner’s. Christians should know the essence of their religion and be able to place themselves in the position of their dialogue partner: to understand the perspectives that account for their different belief, and ultimately, to see things through their partner’s ideas and concepts, i.e., to make themselves one with their interreligious dialogue partner. Knowing all this enables us to love them better. furthermore, together with them, we can then become catalysts of unity and promoters of universal brotherhood which elements form a solid base for lasting peace.
If we Christians loved one another and were ready to give our lives for the others, then God would be present in our midst and shall be the teacher, opening up our minds and hearts so that we can fully grasp the breadth and depth of His infinite love for our sisters and brothers of other religions.
God himself gave us his commandment: to love others as we love ourselves.
He himself taught us the religion of love. this basic commandment to love one’s neighbor as Christ has loved us translates into the important search for dialogue and being open to it, whenever and by whomever it is offered.
God calls us to dialogue with the peoples of all races. today, Christians and people of other faiths understand how love calls for dialogue. In fact, by carrying out dialogue, we are expressing real love, and hence, fully living out our Christian faith.