Interreligious dialogue

Our presence and our activity in Mongolia have always been accompanied by a special attention to interreligious dialogue. We believe that the knowledge of the religious traditions present in the same territory is fundamental to a real collaboration in view of the common good. It is important to cultivate, besides study and research, fraternal relationships of respect and friendship, which come from a mutual association over the years. It is what we are trying to do, both with our Buddhist friends (monks and common faithful) and with those following other faiths, like Shamanism (which belongs to the most ancestral identity of Mongolia) and Islam (followed especially in the Western part of the Country). With his teachings and his personal testimony Pope Francis has often encouraged interreligious dialogue. It would be good to mould this particular sensibility into a more organized project, able to highlight dialogue as the privileged point of attention. For this reason we are taking the first steps towards establishing a centre for interreligious dialogue which could be realized in the old capital of the Mongol Empire, Kharkhorin, which is situated just in the region of Uvurkhangai, where we have been present for the past 10 years (Arvaiheer). Kharkhorin still enjoys nowadays the fame won in the 13th century, when it was known as the cosmopolitan and multi-religious capital, with well documented presences of Buddhists, Muslims and Nestorian Christians. Perhaps, for the greater good of the entire nation, we could reclaim this praiseworthy tradition in order to build also today bridges of brotherhood and collaboration among the representatives of various religions.