On Sunday, 2nd April 2017, four students from Universiti Islam Malaysia (UIM) visited St. Joseph’s church Sentul as part of their assignment on Sociology.
After seeking permission from our Parish Priest they sat through the 9.00 am Holy Mass with a lot of respect. Father George introduced them to the congregation and we welcomed them.
After mass, I walked over just to greet and welcome them. As we introduced ourselves, they became very comfortably and started asking me questions. Their question was on the “Eucharist”, the” I Believe prayer”, the “music”, the “Rite of Elect” that was taking place that morning and it went on to so many of our beliefs and doctrines. Somehow I managed to answer and share the basics of our faith and practices in a very short time. They also wanted to know what other things we do besides worshiping. So I went on to speak about the Educare, the PIHD, and Sunday school.
I found them to be very open and respectful. It was indeed a privilege to share my faith with these students.
Understanding religious beliefs other than one’s own is a key element of tolerance in a multi religious country.
We learn to understand how different cultures and societies live, think, believe and that is an advantage to know how to deal with diversity.
If schools and Universities carry on studies like this, we as a nation can learn how to function as responsible citizens by developing tolerance and respect for other religions besides our own. Recognition and appreciation of viewpoints of others play an important role in developing compassionate relationships between an individual and society or nation. It also helps us better live and work in our increasingly diverse society.