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Christians and Taoists vow to collaborate for a better world

The three-day event agreed to have Catholic-Taoist collaboration through charitable and educational activities
Taoist monks conduct a ceremony in Hong Kong.  Christian and Taoist scholars from different countries took part in the inter-religious meeting in Hong Kong on March 13.

Taoist monks conduct a ceremony in Hong Kong.  Christian and Taoist scholars from different countries took part in the inter-religious meeting in Hong Kong on March 13. (Photo: AFP)

Published: March 14, 2024 10:51 AM GMT
Updated: March 14, 2024 11:30 AM GMT

Interreligious dialogues can help end conflicts and violence and contribute toward building a peaceful world, said an international Christian-Taoists colloquium that concluded on March 13 in Hong Kong.

“Through respectful and constructive dialogue, we can extinguish the fires of conflicts and violence, and light a candle of peace and harmony," the representatives said in a statement issued at the end of the three-day event.

The inter-religious gathering "conveys a powerful message to our polarized world that through respectful and constructive dialogue, we can extinguish the fires of conflicts and violence and light a candle of peace and harmony," it said.

“We are convinced that more than ever, we need to continue our talking, walking, and working together,” said the statement published in the Hong Kong diocesan publication, the Sunday Examiner.

The Catholic-Taoist conference, the third in a series, was organized amid fears that the world “is on the verge of World War III,” the statement said.

The Vatican’s Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue jointly organized the conference along with the Hong Kong Diocese, and the Hong Kong Taoist Association. The conference was based on the theme: "Cultivating a Harmonious Society through Interreligious Dialogue.

“Each of our religions, in its own manner, seeks to counter the restlessness of [the] human heart. Therefore, before the inexpressible mystery, we need to be open-minded and humble by expanding our minds and hearts,” the representatives from Christianity and Taoism said. 

“Our respective religious patrimony can prove meaningful" if practitioners of both religions can use their spiritual energies "to contribute to cultivating a harmonious society. For that to happen, we must recover compassion, simplicity, solidarity, and generosity,” their statement said.

The conference also agreed to Christian-Taoist collaboration "through charitable and educational activities" aiming "to build bridges, break down walls, and sow the seeds of love, respect, and hope."

Christian and Taoist believers and scholars from different countries, including Hong Kong, China, France, Italy, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore were invited to the conference.

Sri Lankan Archbishop Indunil Janakaratne Kankanamalage, secretary of the Vatican’s dicastery, religious leaders from various Christian and Taoist organizations, and believers attended the closing ceremony

Earlier, another international seminar on Christian-Confucian dialogue was held in New Taipei, Taiwan, from March 8 to 9, a dicastery statement said.

Themed "Christians for Dialogue with Confucians: Recommendations and Perspectives," the conference was organized in collaboration with the Department of Religious Studies at Fu Jen Catholic University located in Hsinchuang.

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