The Archdiocese of Bombay hosted an inter-religious meeting recently between Catholics and Hindus in order to discuss ways to promote peace and respect for religious freedom in the wake of attacks against Christians in India.
According to L’Osservatore Romano, the Catholic delegation was led by Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, while the Hindu delegation was led by Shankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swami.
This meeting, Cardinal Tauran said, “has served to reaffirm the need to defend religious freedom in the country” after a series of attacks against Christians have taken place this past year.
“Minorities have the right to practice their faith in peaceful conditions,” he added. “Religious leaders have the duty to shed light on common points and discuss the differences clearly and calmly to reinforce peace and harmony.”
For his part, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and First Vice President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, said, “The attacks on Christians in various states in India have exposed the urgent need to promote dialogue between the two communities.”
He also expressed his hope that the “inter-religious dialogue would contribute to convincing the Hindu community in the country of the need for reciprocal understanding between the followers of religions different from their own.”