Catholic officials attended the inauguration of a new mosque in Bangkok in early-April in an effort to foster interreligious dialogue, and harmony between their communities in Thailand.
“We need to build more solid bridges and destroy many walls of hatred and prejudices,” Msgr. Andrew Vissanu Thanya Anan, deputy secretary-general of the Thai bishops' conference said, reported Catholic News Agency.
“We have to … optimistically look to the actual empirical realities and pastoral concerns, taking our strong faith, love, and hope to effect interreligious dialogue and peace.”
Msgr. Vissanu formerly served as undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He was among the keynote speakers at the April 2-4 gathering, which also marked the 60th anniversary of the headquarters of the Islamic Center of Thailand.
The seminar discussed how to maintain harmony among religions in Thailand's multicultural society. Both Muslims and Christians are minorities in the country, where some 93 percent of citizens are Buddhist.
Msgr. Vissanu told participants that dialogue is the key for living and growing together humanly in a pluralistic, multicultural society.
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