The Seventh Buddhist-Christian Colloquium, recently hosted in Thailand, marked a crucial moment for interreligious dialogue and cooperation in handling the challenges humanity faces in a fast-changing world.
Attended by more than 150 delegates from diverse nations, the event focused on the theme "Karu and Agape in Dialogue for Healing a Wounded Humanity and the Earth".
Representatives from Buddhist and Christian communities worldwide gathered at Maha Chulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya University in Ayutthaya. The event aimed to foster understanding, nurture relationships, and share the academic essence of each faith.
The opening ceremony was graced by notable figures, including Somdet Phra Mahateerajarn, the abbot of Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Ratchaworamahawihan, who presented a symbolic gift from Thailand's Buddhist community to Pope Francis and Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot.
Throughout the colloquium, discussions centred on acknowledging humanity's challenges. Despite these challenges, participants expressed a shared conviction that through unity and the application of love and compassion rooted in their respective traditions, they could offer a beacon of hope to a troubled world.
Both Buddhists and Christians emphasised the role of love and compassion as antidotes to the darkness prevailing in society. They pledged to collaborate with a profound sense of responsibility to cultivate a culture of empathy.
The event's conclusion set the stage for the next gathering, as it was agreed that the Eighth Buddhist-Christian Colloquium would convene in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in 2025, continuing the dialogue and partnership among these global communities.