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Sixth Buddhist-Christian Colloquium Report

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Sixth Buddhist-Christian Colloquium Report

Final Statement of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue at the end of the Sixth Buddhist-Christian Colloquium (Taiwan, 13-16 November 2017), 17.11.2017

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue of the Holy See, in cooperation with the Chinese Regional Bishops Conference (CRBC), and Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society, organized the Sixth Buddhist-Christian Colloquium from 13-15 November 2017 at Ling Jiou Buddhist Monastery, and, on the following day, the Closing Ceremony at the Museum of World Religions, Taipei. The general theme was Buddhists and Christians Walking Together on the Path of Nonviolence. The Tzu Chi Foundation, Fo Guang Shan and the Buddhist Association of New Taipei City were also actively involved in organizing this Colloquium.

More than eighty men and women, Buddhist and Christian, representing eighteen countries, attended the Colloquium, among them both academics and practitioners of inter-religious engagement. Participants also included members from the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC), the World Council of Churches (WCC), and Monastic Interreligious Dialogue.

The participants noted that in the course of the years, Christian-Buddhist dialogue has made a valuable contribution to improving mutual understanding and mutual knowledge, as well as strengthening relationships and cooperation aimed at promoting a culture of peace and nonviolence on the basis of shared values. The participants also acknowledged that the 21st century has been marked by conflicts that also involve ethnic, cultural, and religious affiliations and identifications. In many regions of the world, cultural diversity has become a social and political issue. Many people have been deprived of equal protection and rights, and are treated as second-class citizens within their own countries.

While acknowledging and appreciating various initiatives at the local, national, regional, and international levels aimed at promoting a culture of encounter and respect, the participants emphasized that much remains to be done to build together a culture of peace with justice for all human beings and to preserve and enhance the welfare of the environment, our common home. The participants stressed that they met at a critical time, when violence has already wreaked havoc in many of their countries, leaving people in desperate need of healing, justice, forgiveness, and reconciliation. They also observed that violence and conflicts today cross borders, and thus local problems become national, regional, and at times, even global ones.

The participants were unanimously agreed that there is no time to lose, since the situation is so serious. Consequently, they noted that on the basis of their respective religious convictions they need to bring new hope to a shattered world by speaking of the love of Jesus and the compassion of the Buddha. This task includes speaking out in defense of the powerless and voiceless, standing up for justice, mending broken hearts and polarized societies, distancing themselves from sectarianism, and halting the building of walls that separate religions and cultures. At this crucial moment, encouraged by the positive outcome of the Colloquium, the participants, as followers of Buddha and believers in Jesus, were agreed on:

The participants express their gratitude to the Conference Committee for creating a pleasant atmosphere and for the warm hospitality that characterized this Colloquium. They also thank the Authorities of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and local Christian and Buddhist followers for their generous support in making the Sixth Buddhist-Christian dialogue a success.



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