Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Do all religions lead to the one same God?

I read with interest the editorial entitled “Violence springing from religion?” in the Herald dated 3 December 2006.I was particularly impressed by the concluding statement which read “There is only One God and we all submit to that ONE GOD — no matter what language expression we may use for God! “

Yes,if only people of every religion understand this simple fact, then no one race or religion would fight to reign supreme and the world would be more peaceful.

In recent times, we, the non-Muslims have been under tremendous pressure. Our religious and cultural believes and practices are ill-tolerated by the ruling majority who are Muslims. Our rights of freedom of worship, as enshrined in the constitution, are increasing denied.

Our leaders advocate inter-faith dialogue at international level but locally our requests for such dialogue to solve our inter-faith problems are rejected as they refuse to accept as equal. Of late there has been even threat of mob rule as a means to solve inter-faith problems.

All these are due to the attitude that the ruling majority is superior to all others. We are told theirs is the only true God.

We are very disappointed and frustrated at the way the Muslim majority treats us, as being inferior to them. They refuse to dine with us; dress like us and even mingle with us, let alone accepting our rites and practices as legitimate, just because we are of a different religion.

We may profess different faiths, but aren’t we all children of the same God, whom we call by different names and perform different rituals to worship Him? Aren’t we all equal in His eyes? If we are all equal then why aren’t all religions equal?

All religions rightly teach us that we are equal in the eyes of God,but are we really equal in the eyes of man?The problems that plague our world today clearly demonstrate that we are not.Followers of individual religions consider themselves to be superior to others and that is the underlying cause of inter-religious conflicts and turmoil.

As Christians, what is our stand on the issue of equality of religions? Many among us may be also governed by the same misconceived egotistic attitude that we are superior to others.

By instituting stringent rules we set up a barrier around us, preventing free exchanges between ourselves and those from other faiths. We too are skeptical of the practices, rites and rituals of other religions and not willing not accept them as legitimate. We indoctrinate our children that our religion in the only way to God.

We refuse to allow others from different religion to participate in some of our rites of worshiping God because of our belief that only Catholics, regardless of whether they are good or bad, are entitled to that.

Don’t these constitute the belief that we are superior to others? Aren’t we guilty of the same misconceptions of those in power, whose actions we vehemently detest?

Yes, as you mentioned there is only One God and we all submit to that ONE GOD. In the eyes of that one God we are all equal, although in the eyes of man we are not.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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