Interfaith Dialogue Happens in LA

May 2, 2007

Source: India Post

LOS ANGELES: Proclaiming "no peace among nations without peace among religions" the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, Southern California Chapter met on Saturday April 28 for a day to explore interfaith commonality and religious differences. "Many didn't think this day would be possible, but with God all things are possible," observed one of the organizers to the gathering of assorted representatives of different faiths.

Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews and the like all participated from nine am to nearly eight o'clock in the evening, hosted at the Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation near the USC campus in LA. Ms Chatterjee, a volunteer for the day's program and a student from Calcutta in the biomedical doctoral program at UCLA, observed that values of faiths are universal.

"I grew up in India and I went to Loreto School where Mother Teresa had been a teacher years before, and though I am a Hindu I feel very thankful for my education at this Catholic school. In India we cross religious philosophies and see value in religion. But ultimately it is the family, the parents where religious values are imparted."

Ms Chatterjee said that as India develops she has heard some of her friends saying it is becoming more of a challenge to raise children, just as it is a challenge in America. "When I was a teacher at UCLA I noticed some of my American students didn't really have a fundamental sense of right or wrong. Really simple things too.

For instance, some did not really see it as being wrong to copy or cheat on a test and I think that ultimately is a value imparted by parents," she said. Dr. Christopher Chapple of Loyola Marymount University, who lead a workshop entitled "Religion and the Environment", explained that attendees broke into small groups and shared their views with one and other on various spiritual and social issues.