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First Round of Interreligious Dialogue between Iran and Germany

Religion as an effective tool to fight ignorance

The first round of interreligious talks between the officials of Center for Interreligious Dialogue, affiliated to Islamic Culture and Relations Organization and German Catholic Academy was inaugurated on Tuesday March 5 in Tehran.

According to Public Relations Department of Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO), the talks are attended by Muslim and Christian scholars from Iran and Germany.

Ayatollah Mohammad Mahdi Taskhiri, Head of Center for Interreligious Dialogue said the goal of the gathering is elaboration on truth and realities that exist in every corner of human community.

Ayatollah Taskhiri in his inauguration speech while briefing the audience about the activities of the Center fort Interreligious Dialogue said in our talks with representatives of Abrahamian and Non-Abrahamian religions we have had discussed various topics such as ethics and spirituality as well as issues that societies today are affected by extremism and violence which are carried out under the name of religion.

He added, we had also talked about the role of religious leaders in protecting environment. He said conclusions of such gathering were that extremism and violence are contrary to the spirit of religions and as religions move away from each other, more crime are committed against environment.

Ayatollah Taskhiri said religions have set rights even for flora, animals and birds and therefor human being is very valuable creature from religious perspective and that"s why we should reiterate that lying in the name of religions are contrary to teachings of religions.

Talking about the money spent by US government on wars in the Middle East he  said estimates show that US has spent around 700 billion Dollars on regional wars without any concrete achievements. This figure does not include hidden costs, such as psychological trauma and disabilities caused by wars. We believe that if they spent a small portion of this gigantic amount on holding talks, the situation presently people of the world are facing, would be much better than what is now and the world would have been a better place.

Christian Stroble, member of Christians- Muslims board at the Central Council of German Catholicism was the second speaker of the gathering who said there won"t be peace in the world in absence of peaceful relations among religions adding that during interreligious dialogues, our goal is not to fill the gap between the various religions but we intend to draw the attention of religions to peace and prosperity.

He said in Germany people are very suspicious about religions and we at Central Council of Catholicism try to fight against this phenomenon and for this reason we have published an article titled "violence in the name of God, is forbidden".

Thomas Wuner, the Head of the German delegation said he is a Christian but his studies are about Islam and added that German Catholicism gathers Muslims and Christians from various sects and discusses various issues.

He said among topics discussed in our gatherings, are politics and extremism and special topics like the holy Quran. Mr. Wuner said in one of our gathering, when Quran was recited, a Christian priest suggested that bible also to be recited in the same manner as Quran.

To be continued...


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