Religious extremism harms Indian society: CNI bishop
By Matters India Reporter
Yangon: The growth of religious extremism and politicization of religion change in India is affecting the fabric of Indian society, says the Moderator of the Church of North India (CNI) Bishop Prem Chand Singh of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.
Speaking on “Furthering inter-religious harmony and building peace,” during the Asia Mission Conference (AMC) organized by Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) in Yangon, Myanmar, Bishop Singh said society in India is rapidly becoming intolerant, instead of religiously tolerant. Various fundamentalist religious groups are supporting and giving nourishment to one political-backed ideology, which has caused lots of violence in society in the past and present.
Jointly organized by CCA and local Christian churches in Myanmar AMC is taking place from October 11-17 in Yangon, the former capital of Buddhist majority country. More than 600 participants around the world are attending the meet.
According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism and 14.2% adheres to Islam, while the remaining 6% adheres together religions (Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and various indigenous ethnically-bound faiths). Christians are less than 3%.
Several inter-religious organizations are working in India for religious harmony and pace. Many Indian inter-religious movements still have their impact on building up communities of peace, he said.
In the promotion of peace and harmony, the primacy of life has to be stressed amidst the plurality of differences in terms of religious traditions and cultures are to be respected and affirmed. God is working in all religions, the CNI bishop said.
After family, Religion is the second oldest institution that governs the social and personal behavior of people by providing guidelines, laws, and principles relating to interaction with others. This is one of the strongest forces used to maintain peace in any society, he said.
For nurturing religious harmony and building peace, one prerequisite is to look for meeting points and commonalities in the life, religious scriptures and other religious, Singh added.