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Abu Dhabi: Religious leaders gather at BAPS Hindu Mandir for interfaith assembly – News


Published: Monday February 19, 2024, 12:27

An inspiring interfaith event brought together Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist and other religious leaders at the BAPS Hindu Mandir (temple, a spiritual oasis for global harmony in Abu Dhabi).

Commemorating the inauguration of the Middle East’s first traditional Hindu temple, the ‘Harmony Day’ assembly with spiritual leaders from diverse backgrounds celebrated the richness of global religions and emphasized the importance of dialogue, understanding and collaboration.

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Omar Saif Ghobash, UAE Ambassador to the Holy See, UAE Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs and Religious Advisor to President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, presided over the process.

“I am very happy to experience this Mandir. Seeing this Mandir, I feel that we need a place that brings us closer to God. By having faith in God, we can make this world more harmonious,” said Bishop Paolo Martinelli, Vicar Apostolic of South Arabia.

Dr. Abdulrahman Alzaid, Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim World League, stressed the importance of coexistence and peaceful behavior.

“To achieve social and spiritual harmony, we must coexist and behave peacefully with each other.”

Jain Bawa

Jain Bawa

Bawa Jain, General Secretary of the World Council of Religious Leaders, praised the dedication of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha to open a “lotus in the desert”.

“The best thing about BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is that once the Guru has taken a resolution, it will surely come true; it is just a matter of seeing when,” he said while referring to the prayer made by the late Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj in April 1997 imagining a temple in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Bishop Paolo Martinelli

Bishop Paolo Martinelli

Rabbi David Rosen

Rabbi David Rosen

Rabbi David Rosen, special advisor to the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi, recalled his interactions with Pramukh Swami Maharaj, his visit to the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple in Delhi and expressed his joy at the inauguration of the historic BAPS Hindu Mandir.

Sri Satguru Uday Singh

Sri Satguru Uday Singh

Sri Satguru Uday Singh, spiritual leader of the Namdhari Sikh Community, along with more than a hundred members, expressed gratitude to President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his support in the creation of the Hindu temple.

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha; Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj, president of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha; and Bhikkhu Sanghasena, founding president and spiritual director of the Mahabodhi International Meditation Center, also participated.

The temple, inaugurated on February 14 with a ‘Festival of Harmony’, is a spiritual sanctuary that welcomes people of all religions, cultures and backgrounds.

Brahmaviharidas Swami, who led the creation of the BAPS Hindu Mandir under Mahant Swami Maharaj, said: “Mahant Swami Maharaj has written that this Mandir is more than just bricks and stones; It is an abode of love, peace and harmony.”


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