Originally created 10/01/00

Religious understanding, respect urged

In the world there are many religions and faiths, with many having groups and subgroups within them. There are many places of worship - churches, mosques, etc. Religion is a sensitive matter and faith is personal.

Everybody loves their faith and believe theirs is the best religion in the world. As far as I know, the main idea in all faiths seems the same - pray to the almighty we call God, Allah, Ishwer, etc.

But the method may vary with each faith. Mahatma Gandhi once said "A good Hindu is a good Moslem, a good Christian and vice versa." But looking to the present situation, it does not look so. If we look to the history there are many wars and riots in the name of religion as compared to other causes.

Even today, the problem exists. Will the present situation continue in the future? Is there no way we can avoid this situation and live in peace?

It was a good beginning when religion and peace leaders of 90 countries met at the United Nations millennium summit in New York recently and discussed ways and means to achieve peace in the world. The late Shushilkumar Muniji said when he came to Augusta in 1991, "Bring all the Gods together and people will automatically come together. If you separate Gods, people will automatically be separate."

He is right. We have separate Gods. I have a dream that people of all faiths will come together someday in a place of worship and pray to God in their own way.

This day is not so far away. And there will be many houses of God in the world. People will come in contact with people of different faiths and harmony among people will grow as they learn to respect other religions.

Champak C. Patel, Martinez

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