Thai Catholics and Buddhists strengthen ties

Light of Truth

Catholic and Buddhist leaders in northern Thailand have been engaging in dialogue seeking to strengthen unity and harmony among followers of both faiths for the common good.
Interfaith dialogue is an integral part of the Catholic Church’s pastoral plan, said Archbishop Anthony Weradet Chaiseri of Tharae and Nonseng Arch-diocese that covers the four northern provinces of Kalasin, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom and Sakon Nakhon. Dialogue with Buddhists is vital for Christians in a nation shaped by the strong cultural and religious legacies of Buddhism, he said.
Archbishop Chaiseri made the observations after recently meeting with Sutham Suthammo, a promi-nent Buddhist monk and abbot of the Forest Monastery in Kesetsrikhun in Nong Phai.
“The Church wants to promote and strengthen relations with the representatives of the local Buddhist community,” Archbishop Chaiseri told the Vatican’s Fides news agency.
“A stronger collaboration with the Buddhist community can help us work together for the common good, peace, harmony and development.”  Buddhists make up about 95% of Thailand’s more than 69 million people. Christians are a small minority accounting for about 1%.

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