The President of the Pontifical Council on Inter-religious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, has written a message to Hindus entitled, "Christians and Hindus: Determined to Walk the Path of Dialogue". The message is in regards to the Hindu celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights which falls on November 9th this year.
"Sensitive to your religious feelings and respectful of your ancient religious tradition," the cardinal states, "I sincerely hope that your search for the Divine, symbolized through the celebration of Diwali, will help you to overcome darkness with light, untruth with truth, and evil with goodness."
The cardinal continued, "the world around us is yearning for peace. Religions promise peace because they trace their origin to God who, according to Christian belief, is our peace. Can we, as believers of different religious traditions, not work together to receive God's gift of peace and to spread it around us so that the world becomes for all people a better place to live? Our respective communities must pay urgent attention to the education of believers, who can so easily be misled by deceitful and false propaganda."
"Like all human relationships, those between people of different religions need to be nourished by regular meetings, patient listening, collaborative action, and above all, by an attitude of mutual respect. Accordingly, we must work to build bonds of friendship."
"In situations of misunderstanding, people need to come together and communicate with one another, in order to clarify, in a fraternal and friendly spirit, their respective beliefs, aspirations and convictions. Only through dialogue, avoiding all forms of prejudice and stereo-typed ideas about others and by faithful witness to our religious precepts and teaching, can we truly overcome conflicts. Dialogue between followers of different religions is the necessary path today, indeed it is the only appropriate path for us as believers."