Thursday, May 17, 2012

Interfaith Harmony

The United Nations in October of 2010,  proclaimed World Interfaith Harmony Week an  annual event to be observed the first week of February starting in 2011. The Korean religious communities have been coming closer together in inter-religious dialogue and a search for understanding,  but this year have  taken seriously the invitation to participate in the World Interfaith Harmony Week which they did during the month of May.

Editorials in the Catholic press have noted that there  are few countries in the world that have progressed as far as Korea has in inter-religious dialogue and  searching for understanding among the different religions in the country. Seven Religious Communities have come together seeking reconciliation and unity not brawling  and feuding  but respecting one another, sharing their common elements,  and working to be at peace with each other. Instead of looking for what divides them looking for what unites them.

There are many areas in which they work together  to  foster understanding, reconciliation and the welfare of the citizens. Rather than seeing what separates  seeing the oneness in the variety. This is not only a motto or theory; the editorial reminds us, but the present reality.

 We Catholics meet together as one in the Trinity, but  we also understand what St. Luke says  in the Acts of the Apostles chapter 10 verse 35: "anybody of any nationality  who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him." The editorial also quotes from the Pastoral Constitution: "It offers to mankind the honest assistance of the Church in fostering that brotherhood of all men which corresponds to this destiny of theirs. Inspired by no earthly ambition, the Church seeks but a solitary goal: to carry forward the work of Christ Himself under the lead of the befriending Spirit. And Christ entered this world to give witness to the truth, to rescue and not to sit in judgment, to serve and not to  be served" (#3).

Editorial in the Peace Weekly wonders in preparation for  the general elections at the end of the year how much disagreement and  division we will have to experience.  Selection connotes exclusion, and this allows for the seeds of disunion to grow. The Peace Weekly is celebrating its 24 year of foundation, and the director wonders how much they have contributed to unity.

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