Mishaal Baten, Paraguay Correspondent
On 24 November 2023, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Paraguay organised an interfaith dialogue under the campaign #VoicesForPeace in Asuncion, which was moderated by Richard Moreira, a journalist from a national TV channel. The event was initiated with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Abel Lopez, followed by introductory remarks by Elias Olivera.
Representatives from major world religions delivered speeches: Jorge Espinola for Christianity, Marcelo Gonzalez for Buddhism, Antoine Ducrot for Hinduism, and Abdun Nur Baten Sahib for Islam. After the speeches, the audience was given an opportunity to ask questions of the panellists. This session was very interesting, with good participation from the audience. 60 people participated in the event.
Following this session, there were closing remarks by Carlos Bernal, in which he quoted Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa regarding the importance of establishing peace.
Richard Moreira stated, “One of the positive aspects of this kind of initiative, such as the one promoted by the Ahmadiyya community in Paraguay, is of utmost importance. In turbulent times when the winds of war are spreading in the world, a small reflection – individual and collective – on peace is welcome. Each religion, each creed, and each expression has its own vision of how to contribute and how to give space to love before hate; promoting spaces of peace is fundamental, as much as reflection.”
Elias Olivera said, “The interfaith dialogue provided me with a transformative and enriching experience. I was inspired to see how we can overcome the barriers of religion and belief to find common ground, where respect, love and mutual understanding can flourish in the search for peace. It was a very important space to discuss and learn about other people’s faith.”
Another attendee, Alexander Gutierrez, remarked, “As a Christian theologian, I am a faithful believer in dialogue as a starting point towards peace; listening to the different points of the speakers on peace was very enriching. One of the reflections that stayed with me from the activity was that we need to promote and be at peace while also promoting tolerance and respect for the different religious worldviews, as each one contributes to the construction of the common good. Finally, I am very grateful for the efforts made for the realisation of the Interreligious Dialogue.”
Mirtha Coleman stated, “It was gratifying to hear the panellists say that we are love and peace in our essence. […] Events such as this are important in promoting peace in our society and they leave a lasting impact on the attendees.”