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What are the imperatives that drive the need for interfaith dialogue?


Non-debating member when I can help myself
We live in a fractured religious world. In places like Sri Lanka, a mixed religious and ethnic civil war that raged for many years created a situation where interfaith dialogue is vitally needed.

In the United States religion has exacerbated a political and racial divide that is has become wider. We need to talk to each other about religious differences without rancor, because this is intertwined with race and politics.

In the Balkans we saw how religious ethnic groups caused a destructive war, they need to stop demonizing each other.

In Israel, the Muslims and Jews need to make friends with each other, understand each other.

You can't let religious disagreements get in the way of working together for a laudable goal.

To work with people you need to know their religious beliefs, so you can deal with them more effectively. You need to know how to act appropriately with them. This means talking with them about religion, and it also means knowing about a variety of religious beliefs so when some says they are of a particular religion, or religious denomination, you know roughly what they probably believe.

I will add you need to understand also those without a religion.

Other thoughts?


Non-debating member when I can help myself
Please, you guys, I posted the same thread in interfaith forum, with the same exact post to start. Discuss this there. I have gained more insight from one person that was not a Baha'i there.

My effort is two pronged, with Baha'is only and with everybody. Probably you didn't notice this is a Baha'i dir.

Doing it this way may be a mistake on my part.


Non-debating member when I can help myself
I agree totally. But you will always have those that go against religion and will do so ON PURPOSE. It's the arrogance and ignorance that make them behave in such mannerisms. Muslims are to treat people with kindness. I was a Christian and it's the same. The Jews, don't know much on their mindset, but it's a great place to start. Then you have that mindset that believes they are superior and anybody that believes in God are inferior to them. It, to me, is a vicious circle. Mainly those that believe in God can work with diplomacy, it's the others that make it very hard.
Yes, it is hard to deal with those who feel they are superior. I try to avoid such people, and not be that way myself. There's probably a better way than to just avoid them. Maybe treat them as fallible human beings like myself, and try not to judge them? Using you as a sounding board right now, I think that's the answer.
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Well-Known Member
Yeah, one on one does not reach very many people. It's still worth something, don't you think?

The Church continues its dialogue with Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. This is fine for the leaders, but for the average person does it really attract the attention enough to change any opinions or even increase one's knowledge of the other beyond stereotypes?


In my limited experience I've participated as a representative of our Baha'i community in an Interfaith Council for several years.
We had a few Baha'is on staff at the local University and were able to sponsor World Religion Day with the support of the Interfaith Council.... there was wide response from the local Hindu, Buddhist and communities and the Department of Religion at the University encouraged students to attend World Religion Day.

Initially a Baháʼí observance, World Religion Day was inspired by the Baháʼí principles of the oneness of religion and of progressive revelation, which describe religion as evolving continuously throughout the history of humanity.[3][4] It promotes these principles by highlighting the ideas that the spiritual principles underlying the world's religions are harmonious, and that religions play a significant role in unifying humanity.[1][2]

As a means of clarifying the nature and purpose of World Religion Day, the Universal House of Justice, the elected council that serves as the head of the Baháʼí Faith noted in a 1968 message that, rather than providing a "platform for all religions and their emergent ecumenical ideas," the observance serves as "a celebration of the need for and the coming of a world religion for mankind, the Baháʼí Faith itself.

World Religion Day - Wikipedia

In April 2002, the Universal House of Justice published a letter, "To the World's Religious Leaders", in which it stated:

...interfaith discourse, if it is to contribute meaningfully to healing the ills that afflict a desperate humanity, must now address honestly ... the implications of the over-arching truth ... that God is one and that, beyond all diversity of cultural expression and human interpretation, religion is likewise one.[6]

World Religion Day has been described as a "Baháʼí-inspired idea that has taken on a life of its own",[