Interfaith

Please note that we have made all attempts to read thru the material published in this website, to ensure that it meets the principles of Pluralism encapsulated in the Pluralism Prayers and Seven Commandments of Pluralism. We have edited much of the material that reflects or suggests in any form that one faith is superior to the other.  Each faith is divine to the believer. Our undertaking, the undertaking of the Foundation for Pluralism is to provide un-biased information about each faith, hoping people would see the beauty, wisdom and essence of each faith. We are always open to your suggestions to stay on the track.

Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility. I firmly believe that knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of another point of view. An overwhelming majority of people are pluralists; i.e., they simply believe in “Live and Let Live”,  they honor and respect every one, they want to get along with every one and they don’t believe in pushing their beliefs onto others. Here is a challenge for you: Meet* enough people in any given faith, race or group,  let the sample be large enough to give you reasonably reliable information. Then you feel like slapping yourselves for the prejudices you held, which will release you from the strong negative horrible Jail you lived in contrary to the teachings of your own faith. Try it, you will e find your happiness, it is a big relief. (An event is being organized to facilitate this on Sunday, May 6th, 2006 – An evening of Wisdom – if you are interested, please send an email toinfo@foundationforpluralism.com Limited to 25 seating per faith)

The links on left are from the handbook of Religions, linked at the home page. The information comprises Profile and the Essence of each faith. if you feel it is not fully representative of your faith, please submit a version that would be. We will pass it by different groups within your tradition and eventually replace the modified version.

World Population by Religion (1990 Data)

      1. Christianity: 2 billion
      2. Islam: 1.3 billion
      3. Hinduism: 900 million
      4. Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 850 million
      5. Buddhism: 360 million
      6. Chinese traditional religion: 225 million
      7. Primal-indigenous: 150 million
      8. African Traditional & Diasporic: 95 million
      9. Sikhism: 23 million
      10. Juche: 19 million
      11. Spiritism: 14 million
      12. Judaism: 14 million
      13. Baha’i: 6 million
      14. Jainism: 4 million
      15. Shinto: 4 million
      16. Cao Dai: 3 million
      17. Tenrikyo: 2.4 million
      18. Neo-Paganism: 1 million
      19. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
      20. Rastafarianism: 700 thousand
      21. Scientology: 600 thousand
      22. Zoroastrianism: 150 thousand

If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness to each one of the 6 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. I believe, knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of people with a different point of view.

If you strongly believe that the knowledge you have is enough to lead a happy life within yourselves and with the people that you live amongst, then, please do not read any further, as it may not mean much to you.

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BAHA’I BUDDHIST CHRISTIANDOM CONFUCIANISM HINDUISM ISLAM JAINISM JUDAISM
PLEASE SUBMIT  YOUR TRADITION
AZTEC NATIVE HOPI NATIVE PEYOTE SHINTOISM SIKHISM TAOISM ZOROASTRIANISM
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      However, If you are open to explore, and are secure enough in your own faith that learning enhances your joy and devotion for the almighty, then I’d invite you to join me in the journey of exploring each faith. This paragraph is based on a simple statement that my son Jeffrey uttered when he was about 10 years old. He exclaimed “ Dad, God can be worshipped in so many different ways” as I translated the meaning of Hindu prayers at the Temple in Irving, when he understood the Baptist prayers at the Church in Richardson, when he was delighted with the meaning and universality of Muslim Prayers and when he sang along at the Gurudwara in Garland.

The above experience brought about a statement that I have adopted in the mission statement for the Foundation for Pluralism.

We honor, cherish and respect every which way people have come to praise and worship the divinity, including but not limited to the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Judaism, Sikh and Zoroastrian systems of belief.

During the thousands of years of mankind’s history, man’s search for God has led down many pathways. The result has been the enormous diversity of religious expression found worldwide – from the endless variety of Hinduism to the monotheism of Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Christendom and to the philosophies of Shinto, Taoism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Confucianism.

Has this search for God been successful?

Be prepared to go thru some serious questions in the following pages

To study different religions need not imply infidelity to one’s own faith, but rather it may be enlarged by seeing how other people have sought for the reality and have been enriched by their search.

Have you every thought or said to yourselves – am I “follower of a certain religion” by default?

Religion is and ought to be a very personal thing. Virtually from birth, religious or ethical ideas are implanted in our mind by our parents and relatives. As a consequence, we usually follow the religious ideals of our parents and grand parents. Religion has almost become a matter of family tradition. What is the result of that process? That in many cases others have chosen our religion for us. It has simply been a matter of where we were born and when. Historian Toynbee had pointed out that, an individual’s adherence to a certain faith is often determined by “the geographical accident of the locality of his birth- place. Mahatma Gandhi had advised his followers during a “fast until the communal riots stop” in Calcutta. He advised that if the Muslim finds an orphan Hindu child or vice-versa, then he would raise the child of other faith in the faith that child was born. That is the strength of acceptance of God’s creation that was strength in Mahatma’s belief in mankind and God. Gandhi understood what Ahimsa meant. And as an admirer of Mahatma I found an expression to my thoughts …” if people can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness to each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. That is the Ahimsa Gandhi practiced and that was the Ahimsa Lord Mahavira taught.

September 11 has further augmented my conviction in the Universality of all Religions. During the multi-faith prayers at various places, it was a pleasure and delight for me to read the Jewish, Islamic and Zoroastrian prayers at the BSS Swaminarayan Temple and then Hindu and Christian prayers at another prayer meeting. The essence of all prayers continuously remains the same while the rituals differ as Toynbee had pointed out.

During the Radio Shows we did in 1995- 1997 where we explored the views of all religions on issue by issue from Birth to death and in between.

We believe that the purpose of all faiths is to connect the humans with the divine and strongly defend the goodness of each Religion. We believe that the political motivations have deliberately blamed the wrongs of the world to religions, it is our commitment to identify and ascribe the wrongs to the individuals responsible for it and uphold honor of each faith.

I will continue to add items of interest to this page; meanwhile my mission is to promote Religious pluralism and to encourage studies in secularism.

Mike Ghouse

* One has to spend time to form friendships, one has to make the time to smell the roses to enjoy the beauty of it – parphrased from Ray Bradberry

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