Vatican City, Oct 16, 2017 / 10:00 am
With tensions between Christians and Hindu nationalists in India increasingly on the rise, the Vatican sent a message marking the Hindu feast of Diwali, urging members of both religions to go beyond mere tolerance of one another, and to foster a genuine mutual respect.
Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights, and is being celebrated this year on Oct. 19.
"May this festival of lights illumine your minds and lives, bring joy to your hearts and homes, and strengthen your families and communities," read a greeting to Hindus sent Oct. 16 by the Pontifical Council for Interreligous Dialogue. The message was signed by the council's president, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and its secretary, Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot.
In their message, titled "Christians and Hindus: Beyond Tolerance," Tauron and Ayuso acknowledged that there are many good things happening in the world for which to be grateful, but said there are also difficulties that "deeply concern us."