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Interfaith Programs

Recommendations for Interfaith Dialogue in Mauritius

Port Louis, Mauritius - The recommendations of a study entitled "Interfaith Dialogue in Mauritius: A Myth or Reality?" were presented at a May 12, 2012, forum by Mrs. Allia Gooljar, Director of the NGO Centre des Dames Mourides. [To read a summary of the findings, click here.]

A forum chaired by Mrs. Rita Venkatasawmy, Director of the NGO CEDEM, discussed the study's recommendations:

  • Work together on projects on interfaith dialogue.
  • Organize structured training programs in interfaith at all levels.
  • Encourage people to learn about the history of the country and to acknowledge the contribution of each religious and ethnic group in the development of the country.
  • Learn to respect others.
  • Organize guided tours of prayer places.
  • Encourage religious leaders to dialogue with people of other faiths on issues affecting the society.
  • Work with the media in the promotion of interfaith dialogue.

Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa. Early European explorers reported no indigenous inhabitants. A crossroads of civilizations, the 1.3 Mauritians are a blend of many ethnic groups, tracing their ancestries to India, continental Africa, France, and China.

The Hindus and most of the Muslims are of South Asian origin; the people of Chinese descent include Roman Catholics, Buddhists, and Confucianists. The major religious affiliations are Hindus, 52%; Roman Catholics, 28%; other Christians, 9%; and Muslims 17%. The nation's 15 public holidays blend its history and cultures, with Hindu, Chinese, Muslim, and Christian festivals among those celebrated.

Participants in the panel discussion of the recommendations reflected Mauritius' diverse heritage: Pandit Jogessur (a student of peace and interfaith studies at the University of Mauritius), Dr. Amina (an international consultant), Mr. Jonathan Ravat (Head of the Social Studies Department at the Cardinal Margeot Institute), and Mrs. Allia Gooljar (NGO Centre des Dames Mourides).

UPF-Mauritius Secretary General Jessica Chung distributed to the speakers copies of As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, the autobiography of UPF Founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

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