Baha'i leader in attack on bigotry
The call is contained in a seven-page message addressed by the Universal House of Justice, the elected international governing body of the Baha'i community, to the world's religious leaders.
Baha'i community spokesman Ralph Kither said the message was well received by the national heads of religious denominations in Australia, and was now being offered to local religious leaders.
"Religious hatreds have become a virulent source of conflict in many parts of the world," Mr Kither said.
The dangers posed by religious prejudice were increasingly apparent and every day now brought outbursts of fanaticism that shamed the name of all religions.
"Governments alone can't overcome the danger posed by religious prejudice," he said.
"Nor should we delude ourselves that appeals for mutual tolerance will be enough. We believe the time has come to appeal to the leadership of organised religion to address the issue vigorously and decisively."
Religious leaders had a vital role to play to ensure religious prejudice, like racism and sexism, was discarded as a relic of the past.
Mr Kither said the message called on religious leaders to give confirmation to the growing realisation that the essential truth underlying all religions was "one".
"Spiritual life constitutes one unbound reality equally accessible to everyone."
©Copyright 2002, Altona Laverton Mail (Australia)