Tuesday Jul, 16 2024 04:52:29 PM

Darul Ifta hosts inter-faith dialogue to promote peace

Mindanao Peace Process • 05:45 AM Sun Jun 16, 2024
Edwin O. Fernandez

The highest Islamic body in the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has gathered leaders of various religious groups in the region to promote mutual understanding and peace among diverse religious communities.

In a statement, the Bangsamoro Darul-Ifta (BDI) said it hosted the day-long interfaith dialogue that gathered religious leaders and scholars and discussed their perspectives on peace and how to attain it for all in the region.

BDI Islamic Jurist Dr. Muhammad Nadzir S. Ebil has emphasized the importance of inter-faith understanding in fostering a peaceful and cohesive society.

Ebil stressed the role of dialogue in breaking down misconceptions and building bridges between different faiths.

Ebil also stressed the importance of “inter-faith understanding in fostering peaceful coexistence and a more cohesive society.”

He underscored the significance of such initiatives in promoting cooperation among diverse religious communities emphasizing its importance for the Bangsamoro context.

Various concepts of peace from the resource persons, each representing a different faith or belief system, were presented during the dialogue held at the Darul Ifta conference room in Cotabato City.

Sister Maria Teresa C. Diaz of the Oblates of Notre Dame and representing the Catholic Church presented the concept of peace from the Roman Catholic perspective.

“The teachings of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation are central to the Catholic faith,” she said.

Diaz stressed that for Roman Catholics “peace is deeply rooted in the practice of these virtues within the community.”

Shiekh Abdulkahar A. Musa, representing Islam, offered insights into the Islamic perspective on peace, explaining that peace is intrinsic to the teachings of Islam, which advocates for harmony, justice, and the well-being of all humanity.

Shiekh Musa highlighted how the principles of peace are woven into the daily lives of Muslims.

Episcopal Church Father Francis Imperial shared the Episcopal perspective on peace, focusing on the role of the church in promoting social justice and harmony.

He emphasized the church's mission to be a beacon of peace and a force for positive change in society.

Evangelical Church Pastor Brayan Saguban discussed the Evangelical concept of peace, highlighting the transformative power of faith in fostering inner peace and community well-being.

He stressed the importance of living out the values of peace in everyday actions and relationships.

Ms. Nicole Anne Lopez represented the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) and discussed her group’s unique approach to peace.

Registered with the Seoul Metropolitan Government of the Republic of Korea, HWPL is an international peace NGO founded for global peace and cessation of war.

In the interfaith dialogue, Lopez explained HWPL’s efforts in advocating for global peace through education and active participation in peace-building initiatives.

Dr. Ben Bello, representing the Indigenous Peoples (IP), spoke about the Indigenous understanding of peace as living in harmony with nature and each other, respecting ancestral traditions and wisdom.

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BDI Executive Director Emran G. Mohamad reiterated the importance of continuous dialogue and collaboration among different faith communities.

“(I hope that) these initiatives would pave the way for a more harmonious and understanding society,” Mohammad said.

He declared that inter-faith dialogue, initiated by BDI, was a resounding success, providing a platform for meaningful exchange and fostering a deeper understanding among diverse religious groups.

“The event demonstrated that despite differences in beliefs and practices, the shared aspiration for peace unites all humanity,” Mohamad said, receiving affirmation from various religious leaders in BARMM.

“There's a lot more to do. A lot more conversations to exchange. A lot more of listening to one another, understanding, appreciating, meeting at the center, and collaboratively working for peace,” OND Sister Diaz stressed.

“The good news is, the steadfastness of openness, willingness to converse and listen, understand and appreciate, collaborate, continuously find its way in the heart of diversity of faith and culture,” Sister Diaz said.

All agreed to meet anew to further improve understanding and to continue working for peace. 

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