Speech of His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II at the Inter-civilizations Dialogue Conference

His Holiness Marthoma Baselios Paulose II – Catholicos on the Apostolic Throne of St Thomas – Metropolitan of Malankara – Primate of the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church

His Holiness Marthoma Baselios Paulose II – Catholicos on the Apostolic Throne of St Thomas – Metropolitan of Malankara – Primate of the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church

Conference for Inter-civilizations and humanity Dialogue held in Bahrain

OCP News Service – 5/5/14
“Glory to God Almighty”

Your Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince , Deputy Supreme Commander and first deputy prime minister, Your Highnesses, Your Holinesses, Your Excellencies, distinguished guests and my dear brothers and sisters.

Dialogue can triumph over all discord and all people of the world are united by a common fate, rather than divided by their differences. This is a striking statement by Kofi Annan, the previous Secretary- General of the United Nations, which has impressed me deeply.

thank God Almighty, for this wonderful gathering, and We are deeply honoured that We have the opportunity to address you. We offer thanks to His Majesty, king Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, for the honorable invitation offered to this humble person to visit this God-protected kingdom. We again thank His Majesty for the great care and effort, which he has taken, with eagerness and love for the preparation, organization, and realization of this present visit to this great country.

We bring to you the greetings of the people of India and especially the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Our love embraces you, and we pray that the Almighty One sends His blessings upon you. We express our profound gratitude to `his `majesty `king hamad bin isa Al `khalifa for patronising this conference and delegating his illustrious son `his royal highness the crown prince for opening this three day international event. `bahrain is a supreme example and symbol of religious tolerance and unity in diversity. As the supreme head of the Indian orthodox church `we take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to His Majesty the King for his patronage to our church in `bahrain. We recall with gratitude that our church in Salmaniya was built on a land donated by the late Amir `his highenss Shaikh `isa bin Salman Al `khalifa in late 1960s. Later the church was expanded because of the generous and gracious support of `his majesty the king. We r sure that the millions of Indians irrespective of caste or creed will acknowledge the leadership this initiative of Bahrainis leadership. We salute this great nation and pray for its benevolent rulers.

We appreciate the Kingdom of Bahrain, for organizing this conference which would certainly help all of us to accept diversity of in world civilizations. It is time for the world religions to come together, to celebrate what we have in common. The mandates of our religions and cultures can be fulfilled only by the total improvement of the lives of God’s children. I am sure that this conference with the great theme “Civilizations in the Service of Humanity” will give us greater insights in fulfilling the ideal of a just and peaceful humanity.

Sura 3 of the Holy Quran, teaches us that, “You are the best people ever raised for the good of mankind because you have been raised to serve others; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah.” This verse comprehensively covers the concept of service to humanity. The Holy Prophet emphasized love, sympathy, and kindness towards all. It is also a known teaching of the Prophet Mohammed that, “One who is not grateful to mankind is not grateful to Allah.”

Lord Jesus Christ has taught his disciples, that “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these, who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40). Thus, service rendered to humanity is essentially service to God.

We believe that Inter-civilizational dialogue is the need of the hour. This dialogue will lead to common goals for the sustenance of our world and will help us to engage in cooperative works to solve the problems faced by humankind today. We cannot ignore this responsibility, as it is essential for the survival of the coming generations. There may be people who consider diversity as a threat, but We believe that it is an opportunity for the betterment and growth of our human race.

In order to live in peace as good neighbours, we need to appreciate the distinctiveness of our religious and socio- cultural identities. This is possible only if we have knowledge about our distinct cultures, traditions and value systems. The dialogue of civilizations should be at the very heart of such creative efforts to understand each other. We wish and pray that this ideal will be fulfilled in this conference and this will certainly lead to the enhancement of the global peace.

We appreciate His Highness for taking this initiative of inviting members of different civilizations and religions to come under a common platform for a dialogue. We would once again like to express our joy to be in this august fellowship. We bestow our wholehearted love upon you, wishing all of you good health, long life, love, peace, joy, progress, and every blessing from God Almighty, and we invoke upon all of you His grace and infinite mercy.

Amen.

Source:
OCP News Service