Prague, Czech Republic—Eight people from different religious traditions attended an interfaith breakfast meeting at the UPF Peace Embassy.
The participants included representatives of Tibetan Buddhism and several Christian denominations.
Topics of discussion at the July 17, 2020, meeting included the situation before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of religion in improving society, and new opportunities for interreligious dialogue and cooperation.
Special guests were the lama Geshe Yeshi Gawa, director of the Tibet Open House, which opened in Prague in 2016, and his assistant Mr. Chungpo.
Geshe Yeshi Gawa emphasized that it is important to know the truth concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, because only then can we find an effective way to solve the problem.
He mentioned that religion is like living water for a flower. Religion should contribute to solving the problems of society. The current coronavirus pandemic is a result of human greed, selfishness and egocentrism, the lama said. Religious people should lead society, because they teach true love, compassion and sacrifice. We need a variety of religions, as a garden has many flowers. All religions have the potential to solve the problems. Any cooperation among religions is important, because it brings joy and creativity.
Mr. Chungpo mentioned three commitments: sense of oneness, religious harmony and protection of the ecological environment. Sense of oneness can bring harmony among religions, and finally we can have one universal religion. The problem is that sometimes even in one religion believers cannot make unity.
Some of the participants appreciated not only the effort at interreligious dialogue but also the fact that people from different religions can gather at one table and share food, which creates the feeling and atmosphere of belonging to one human race.