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ديالوگ 3، 1390 تاریخ ثبت : 1392/11/29
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Editorial

Asian Religious Dialogue to Promote peace and friendship in Asia

Ever since its establishment, the Center for Interreligious Dialogue has been trying to expand the sphere of its dialogue with all divine religions. In the first phase of dialogues, our talks focused on Islam-Christian dialogue which included various Christian denominations and Islamic schools of thought. However, side by side with Islam-Christian dialogue, a strong feeling developed in the center for expanding the sphere of dialogue to include Asian religions as well.

The Center has already had many bilateral dialogues with the leaders of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism, and those of the religious minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran, like the Armenians, Zoroastrians, and Assyrians. But for the first, the center tried to experience multilateral dialogue, which was held with the participation of many Asian religious leaders, thinkers and figures.

In fact, Asia is the home of world s oldest civilizations and religions and hence enjoys a special place in international arena. Asia is at the same time facing serious challenges whose alleviation requires cooperation and coordination between all Asian countries and religions. Ironically, Asian countries have been subject to invasion of colonial powers from other continents while have never colonized others. It indicates that Asians have fostered the culture of peace and peaceful coexistence among themselves and are capable of promoting this culture.

It goes without saying that misunderstandings and lack of understanding among the followers of Asian religions have prepared the grounds for aliens to cultivate seeds of disunity among them. In fact, the colonial powers capitalized on these very lack of understandings to divide the Asian countries and rule over them.

It is also a clear fact that Asians are committed to their religions, i.e. Asians are religious people. Hence, religion is inextricable from Asian lifestyle. Therefore, it can play a crucial role in promotion of the culture of peaceful coexistence and cooperation in Asia.

It is against this backdrop that the Center for Interreligious dialogue decided to involve Asian religions in interfaith dialogue to prepare the grounds for their contribution to intra-continental peace, security, cooperation and development, which will consequently strengthen international peace, security and cooperation.

Based on the abovementioned objective, the necessary arrangements were made for dialogue between Asian religions. Our thanks are due to the Asian Parliamentary Assembly for its cooperation in this regard. Without its assistance the conference would not have seen the light of the day. The conference was held in Tehran in 2011 entitled: The International Conference on Dialogue among Religions and Cultures in Asia. A number of religious thinkers and leaders from Asian countries and representatives of the parliaments of the Assembly member state participated in it.

Since this conference was formulated within the framework of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, our guests came from the important countries that are members of the Assembly or are its

observers. We had representatives from China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Syria, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Thailand, Tajikistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. We had also observers from Russia and Australia.

As a matter of fact, institutionalization of religious dialogue is a means to strengthen the principles and links of Asian countries to prepare the grounds for Asian convergence. These dialogues actually aim to prepare an appropriate context for further dialogues among the representatives, participating in this conference. It was also a platform for us to find more common points and promote mutual understanding among ourselves. This will lead to stronger cultural bonds in the region...

 

 

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