|By Tenzin Norsang
His Holiness with representatives of different religious faiths.
Lisbon, September: His Holiness the Dalai Lama today attended an inter-religious meeting at Lisbon Mosque alongside representatives from major religious faiths from Lisbon.
The exiled Tibetan leader was invited to the inter-faith dialogue by the Muslim Community of Lisbon.
Representatives from Lisbon’s Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahais and Buddhist communities attended the informal gathering.
Mr. Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares, former President of Portugal and a long time friend of the Dalai Lama was also present during the discourse.
Dr. Waqeel of Lisbon’s Muslim community, in his opening remarks, said: “It is indeed an honour for us, Islamic community to host this important gathering because we truly believe that dialogue between the religions faiths offers a unique opportunity to understand and share values and goals, which are common in each of our faiths, particularly as we clarify differences.”
Inside the mosque
He quoted the Dalai Lama as saying “All major religious traditions carry basically same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness, and important thing is that it should be part of our daily lives”.
“We must act together as we are after all members of same family which is humanity,” Dr Waqeel said.
Representatives from all the religious traditions present at the meet addressed the gathering.
Addressing the meeting, the Dalai Lama noted that although there were “conflicts due to different faiths in the past as well as present, but today we are gathered here with mutual respect and admiration for each other” and said that it was his first time to attend such a gathering in a mosque.
Pleased to see Portugal’s “multi-religious community with close relation among each other” His Holiness said “It (Portugal) needs to propagate such culture to rest of the world”.
“Different religions have different philosophical viewpoints but, it is important to strengthen enthusiasm in their message of love, compassion and forgiveness which is common in all religion” His Holiness said in his talk, adding “activity of some mischievous section of a tradition cannot be the symbol of the whole tradition”.
“Generalizing mischievous action of some section of a tradition to a particular community is negative and totally wrong” His Holiness emphasized.
At Pavilhão Atlântico
Dr. Waqeel thanked His Holiness for his visit to Lisbon and for sharing his wisdom, and requested His Holiness for more visit to Lisbon in future. Thanking all the participants for their enthusiasm and support, he said engaging and promoting such an interfaith dialogue is very much important and relevant in today’s world.
His Holiness later toured around the prayers hall of the mosque before sitting down for prayers.
Later in the evening, His Holiness gave a public talk at Pavilhão Atlântico on “The Power of Good Heart”
which was attended by an estimated ten thousand people.
His Holiness leaves for Austria on Monday.