Let’s respect and accept one another

The Rev. Rana Youab Khan Photo: Marites N. Sison
The Rev. Rana Youab Khan Photo: Marites N. Sison
Published November 1, 2012

Religion can play a great role in promoting messages of inclusiveness, peace and harmony in society. This is why faith communities must persevere in inter-religious dialogue, particularly in conflict-ridden areas, says the Rev. Rana Youab Khan, international interfaith dialogues assistant to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the Anglican Communion.

Inter-religious dialogue is also crucial in multi-cultural, multi-faith places such as Canada, where people of different cultural backgrounds live side by side. “Let’s start by accepting one another, respecting one another and see where that takes us,” Khan said, during a visit to the national office of the Anglican Church of Canada in Toronto.

Khan, who is also secretary of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Pakistan focus group, noted that extremism often grows in areas where there is war, lawlessness and religious hatred, and where people feel economically deprived.

Inter-religious dialogue should not be the sole purview of religious leaders, he adds. “I believe in the dialogue of life,” he says. “Sincere friendship with others” allows inter-religious dialogue to succeed, as does learning about the tradition of other faiths.

Since 2002, the Anglican Communion has been engaged in regular dialogue meetings with Muslims at Al Azhar University, the oldest and most prestigious university in Cairo, Egypt, and in 2006, the Christian-Muslim Forum was launched.
The Anglican-Jewish Commission and the dialogue between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel have helped strengthen Anglican-Jewish relations, said Khan.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and Sri Shruti Dharma Das Ji launched the Hindu Christian Forum at Lambeth Palace in 2011. Elsewhere in the Anglican Communion, Khan noted Anglican-Muslim co-operation in projects in Nigeria and in Pakistan.


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