Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay took lead in organising an inter-religious Christmas gathering on Dec. 17, following what has now become an annual feature before Christmas celebration in the archdiocese based in the financial capital of India.
Hindu, Islam, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Jain and Christian leaders attended the interreligious prayer service and discussion seeking to find answers to the increasing conflicts.
“In our time, the differences seem to be growing: there are conflicts between persons, religious ideologies and nations. While we long for peace, it seems that this hope is a mirage,” archdiocesan spokesperson Father Nigel Barrett said, explaining the relevance of such gatherings.
The gathering gains importance in the wake of Pope Francis’ call to religions to shun violence and terrorism at an inter-religious meeting in the Vatican last month.