My Views on ALL Forum’s Online Course

My Views on ALL Forum’s Online Course

by Suneel Boota, TIL

I am very glad to share my views about ALL Forum Online Course 3: Interreligious Dialogue and Catholic Teachings. In this course Fr. Bagus from Indonesia is our rescores person. In this course we discussed why the interreligious dialogue is important and why the interfaith dialogue is necessary. ALL Forum is playing its role very well during this pandemic situation by training the Asian Lay Leaders through this online course. Talking is important for life no one can live alone in this world we all are depend to one another.

Peace is the world’s most urgent need. All human beings are a human family and God wants all human beings to live happy and healthy lives. Today our world is divided in the face of different types of discrimination. I feel it is time to preach the Gospel of peace and development, without any discrimination, and it’s not possible without interreligious dialogue.

Interreligious dialogue is a challenging process by which believers of differing religious traditions encounter each other in order to break down the walls of division that stand at the center of most wars. The objective of Interreligious Dialogue is Peace.

Interfaith dialogue means the communication, dialogue and cooperation between different faiths and religious groups. Since 1964 the Catholic Church has had the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue established. This council aims to promote respect and collaboration between different faiths and religions. It also aims to promote dialogue to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among peoples of different faiths.

In 2019 His Holiness Father Pope Francis visited United Arab Emirates (UAE), and while leaving UAE His Holiness “I am about to leave for the United Arab Emirates. I am visiting that Country (UAE) as a brother, in order to write a page of dialogue together, and to travel paths of peace together. Pray for me!” Pope Francis.

As I live in Pakistan religious pluralism can exist here and this course will help me to understand the different faiths and beliefs to promote peace in this world. We all are one in Christ and sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. Peace starts with a smile.

Reflection on “Online All Forum Course on Interreligious Dialogue”

Reflection on “Online All Forum Course on Interreligious Dialogue”

by Salman Maseeh

A general notion and a nature of dialogue is to sit at one table, communicate with people, groups, communities, cultures etc. we have to be very clear in our mind and thought that dialogue does not mean in the strict sense only between believers but with nonbelievers too.

The real purpose of dialogue is to create harmony, unity, sincerity, reverence for persons and base it more on true human relationships. Pope Paul VI writes about dialogue under apostolic aspect in the Encyclical Letter ‘Ecclesian Suam’ “It is by means of dialogue in the sense that the Church performs its chief function in preaching the Gospel, to all men, giving them in a spirit of reverence and love the gifts of grace and truth which Christ deposited with it”. There is one Greek Philosophical saying “Human being are alive because they participate in God” in other words it means that they dialogue with God, but when we compare these words with Holy Bible the tone is totally changed because not only human being participate and dialogue with God but God also participates and takes initiative in entire humanity and dialogues with them. There is another saying that dialogue is in the nature of God.

When we see in the Sacred Scripture, we come to know that God formed man in his own image and put him in the Garden of Eden and gave them command saying man you are free to eat from every tree of the garden but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you should not eat. But men disobey God and commit sin against him. Further we see when they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Lord God. But God called to the man, and said to him, where are you? It is just one example but there are so many references and stories in the Sacred Scripture where we can see God dialogue. Man can live without communities, cultures, religions etc, but he cannot live without having dialogue

When we talk about “Interreligious Dialogue” it should involve mutual gives and take. In Vatican II “Humanae Personae Dignitatem” it mentions that the objective of dialogue is that one should come closer to the other side and should understand it better.

There are also some forms of dialogue mentioned in “Humanae Personae Dignitatem” which says that dialogue should be established only in terms of human relationships, destined to liberate. Dialogue should be established in the realm of truth involving discussion of problems and achievements by common efforts for a better grasp of truth and extension of knowledge. The pastoral Constitution “Gaudium et spes” discusses dialogue with the world as “The preaching of the Gospel is not immediately in question here. Rather it is a dialogue which Christians wish to establish with men, who do not to share their faith, either or in order to search together for the truth in different areas, or in order to solve the more urgent problems of our day by social action”.

I want to conclude while giving congrats to All Forum’s Programs in which they prepare topics relating to Theology, Church Teachings and at the presently a very important topic for social life, to share culture and especially for the course namely “Interreligious Dialogue”. All Forum is providing and giving a platform to Asian Laity as well as Religious who are interested to learn. All Forum Online Course also gives us an opportunity to learn, reflect, share our views and work for the common good.

Situation amidst the Military Coup in Myanmar

Situation amidst the Military Coup in Myanmar

by Robert Mang, Lay Mission Institute, Myanmar

Greeting from Myanmar, I wish that everyone is in good health. You may know what is going on and taking place in our country. It is very hard to accept and live under the control of military coup.

The military has retained our leaders, Aung San Suu Kyi (State Counsellor), U Win Myint (President) and others who are working in special department since 1st February 2021. They did not recognize and accept the results of the election held in 8th November 2020. Due to that event, they have taken the power from our elected government and arrested all who are in government. As soon as they have taken such power, the internet was shut down, the people are filled with anxieties and all happiness are gone. We, people of Myanmar, did not accept the military coup at all. That is why, we are on strike in order to get Democracy back as soon as possible from the military. Another crooked move that the military performed on 12 February is that they released many criminal prisoners and asked them to rob, burn houses and make all sorts of threats and riot across Myanmar.

attribution: VOA Burmese, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2021_Myanmar_Protest_in_Hleden.jpg

In response to this, concerned about our safety and security and losing a sense of purpose for our future because of the military coup, every night at 8 p.m., we drum all sorts of instruments as a means of self-protection and alarming of the thieves, casting out of the evil spirit of those unjustly national power takers. Moreover, every night, we form ourselves watchmen for our own wards to protect our homes and our people from thieves, policemen and military because they go around at night and arrest leaders of demonstration and those involved in CDM (civil disobedience movement). The current situation is very serious and getting dangerous day by day. The People of Myanmar are in danger of death during the demonstrations because the police are using deadly weapons there. Up until now, many demonstrators have been arrested, around 16 demonstrators killed, some are already homeless due to the burning their houses from the military and many more are wounded and undergoing serious medical care.

In conclusion, we are helpless, insecure and no future anywhere. Let your voices be heard to others who haven’t known yet and support us with your powerful prayer.

Reflection on the Online courses

Reflection on the Online courses

By Nomi Munir, Theological Institute of Laity, Pakistan

congratulate ALL forum for this online course. This is a good way to bring Asian Lay leaders together and to train them for leadership. This online course provides an opportunity for the lay to reflect and share their views at the Asian level. The topics “Documents on Vatican II”, “Basic Understanding of Church Teachings”, “Basic Theology on the Lay People in the World” has been introduced in a very convincing way to bring the lay leaders to reflect and think about the role of laity in church and society.

Mainly this course has led us to discover what the scripture says, what it means, how it applies to our lives, and how to respond appropriately to its message. This is also helpful in the formation and expression of godly character, qualities and essential Christian attitudes in keeping with scriptural emphasis. This course has also provided and directed us in the development of a Christian lifestyle in obedience to the will of God and the pattern of Christ and has also encouraged us to live it with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Theology is one of the fundamental ways through which the laity of the church can understand, think carefully and live out what they believe. Theology speaks more about Him, His glorious, powerful, and great works such as creation, providence, redemption etc. The church is God-centered, first it invites us to come towards God and then go to people for proclamation of His glory. Theology does not exist as a knowledge but motivates us to serve and practice the teachings in our daily life.

No doubt theology is the attempt to know God more deeply. But it leads us deeper in worship, personal transformation, and more effectively in church ministry. It is also more practical because we learn about God, we know Him and we come closer to Him, we get to share and practice God’s love with others as well as empty ourselves and accept others. It teaches us to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds, ethnicity, different church ministries and invites the lay leaders from different places to understand the laity and church in different perspectives.

In addition, developing relationship with other people is the foundation for change. Connections and accepting people with different ethnicity is key in building communities that are powerful to spread and practice the teachings of different beliefs.