Dialogue between religious groups is the need of the hour: Archbishop of Canterbury

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Archbishop of Canterbury Rev. Justin Welby who is currently visiting Sri Lanka yesterday called for an honest dialogue between the religious groups and peace among all people in the country. The Archbishop made this call while addressing an inter religious media conference in Colombo yesterday.

“When we have to disagree with our brothers we have to do it with honesty. It is the honesty which converts the disagreement into a dialogue. We also build our dialogue by serving our community,” the Archbishop said.

We have to learn to care and share whatever we have with the poor and the weak. It is not an option for us Christians to serve the community and build peace but something which we must do according to the Christian culture. We have to remember that Jesus called the peace makers blessed,” he added.

The Archbishop of Canterbury also emphasized the need for Christian unity as he paid tribute to the victims of the Easter Sunday bomb attacks at the St. Sebastian’s Church Katuwapitiya earlier during the day.

Lieutenant Colonel Suresh Pawar Territorial Commander Salvation Army Sri Lanka said the visit of Archbishop Welby will certainly help Sri Lankans to maintain religious harmony in Sri Lanka especially after Easter Sunday carnage. He said the coming elections will no doubt will place emphasis on religious aspect and ethnicity in Sri Lanka.

President of the Inter Religious Conference Venerable Ittapane Dhamalankara Thera said religious coexistence is comforting factor when it comes to all countries in the world. He said such coexistence will also help Sri Lanka in its journey towards development and unity. He said such coexistence do prevails in Sri Lanka despite few disturbing happenings.

Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo Rev. Anthony Jayakody thanked the Archbishop of Canterbury for sharing the pain of those who were affected by the Easter Sunday bomb attacks by visiting the catholic church which was bombed in Negombo where 115 people were killed.

The Catholic Bishop stressed the need for building a relationship between one’s own body and soul, with the cosmos and with all religious and ethnic groups. “We have a long way to go to build a harmonious society in Sri Lanka,” he added.

Islam and Hindu Leaders who also spoke stressed the same point and called for peace and harmony in the country and welcomed the leader of the Anglican Church.