Udupi: As a part of the inaugural ceremony of the newly built St Francis Xavier Church Udyavar an Inter-religious meet was organized in the Church premises on Sunday, April 24.
The programme began with an invocation, Mary D’Souza Secretary of Udyavar Sauharda Samiti welcomed the gathering.
Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji of Putthige Math inaugurated the meet by lighting the lamp with other dignitaries. Inter-religious prayers were rendered by children of the Muslim, Hindu and Christian communities.
Fr Dr Roque D’Souza parish priest of Udyavar Church delivered the introductory remarks and explained the importance of the meet.
The main speaker of the meet social activist Akbar Ali said that we must love our religion but must respect the religion of others. We have one life and we must involve ourselves in humanitarian deeds rather than selfish. We are all humans created by God. May be our religion is different as we all are born to parents of different religions, but we are the creation of God to serve humanity, we should have the purpose to live and let others live, he added.
Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji applauded the efforts of the Christian community for building communal harmony among all religions. As a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country, we take great pride in our unity in diversity and support all efforts to build bridges of understanding between nations, peoples, religions and cultures. Any religion does not preach to criticize other religions. If we respect all religions then peace will prevail over the society, he added.
Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo Bishop of Udupi Diocese in his message said that India has sheltered many religions which have strengthened equality. All rivers of this land meet the sea similarly all religions reach one God and Humanity is the biggest Religion. Let us have an open mind and tolerance to other religions and let us develop serving nature in mind and heart. People should respect other religions just as they respect their own religion. People should work for the creation of a peaceful society. All religions preach peace, love, kindness, and non-violence. Let us all live with peace, concern, love and brotherhood he added.
Fr Fred Mascarenhas Dean of Udupi deanery presided over the meet. Lawrence D’Sa Vice president of the Church, Wilfred D’Souza convener of Sauhardha Samiti were also present.